Friday, July 10, 2015

An Art Exhibit Revictimizes Michael Brown

And I struggled mightily with that too-much-ness, allowing myself to get lost in my own cognitive dissonance. I have never believed in censorship, and as video after video of slain black people continue to populate my newsfeed, I have continued to voice my belief that we cannot hide from the viciousness of this white supremacist country; we cannot soften the blow of what has been done to us.

We must stand in the tradition of Mamie Till and force this nation to reckon with its own grotesque nature, to look at the twisted mouths of our children and see what it’s capable of justifying and forgiving.

See what it’s capable of forgetting.

I tend to reject safe art and embrace what makes me step out of my comfort zone and feel something, so I have fought against my reaction to Moore’s piece. Some may read that as meaning that she has accomplished her mission, but they would be wrong.

My reaction is to her having her white hands on Michael Brown’s black body when he’s not here to protect himself. It is eerily and unsurprisingly reminiscent of poet Kenneth Goldsmith’s having the audacity to read Brown’s autopsy report and call it poetry.

Despite Moore’s assertions to the contrary, a working definition of white privilege is white artists’ belief that they can claim artistic ownership of black death, while disowning their white guilt and being applauded for their “courageousness.”-- Kirsten West Savali

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Ti Rock shares about her work in this video from Gallery Guichard


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