Rhinoceroses, Lilies, Vampires: Yong Xiang Li | Alvin Li

Central to Li’s work is his interest in the evolution of style and subjectivity as mediated by power dynamics across racial, sexual, class, and national boundaries. From the eighteenth century through the twentieth—while queer signs like the mannerisms of the by-then-obsolete European aristocracy were being adopted by cosmopolitan homosexuals in dis-identification with the increasingly dominant and normative social body of the bourgeoisie—growing exchange between East and West spawned fantasies permeated by fear of the foreign, resulting in Europe’s assimilation of other bodies, desires, and aesthetic traditions into its own canon.

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