Whiteness In Art

1891 Words 8 Pages
Picture yourself walking through the doors of an art gallery, expecting to see something totally new, diverse and original, only to be disappointed by being surrounded with whiteness in every sense. This scenario speaks to the exclusionary nature that many people of color in the art world feel when they enter theses spaces. The notion of art has always been seen from the perspective of a certain particular group of individuals, who throughout centuries have sought to affirm whiteness in art and art history as the only viable cultural and social experience. Even with the fact that art and art history is from the perceptive of the white hegemony; there have been exhibitions or art projects that reflect the confinements of whiteness, hence acknowledging …show more content…
Bowles, he comments on whiteness in western culture and art, as it is the standard that other minorities are held up against. Bowles acknowledges that whiteness is assumed and is seen as the universal standard that marks normalcy, while only otherness is pronounced (Bowles, 39). Moreover, Bowles states that otherness is violently suppressed by whiteness, and promotes the idea of the universal figure who can represent everyone yet doing so hinders cultural and social identities in art (39). He goes on say that artist like Kara Walker, Jason Rhoades, and Jennifer Reeder are now recognizing the personal responsibility they have as creators in dispelling the allure of whiteness in art, making an effort to denaturalize the hegemony in order to end the power of white privilege within art and art history (39). For instance, Bowles mentions that Walker’s work implicates viewers in the perpetuation of whiteness’ claim to privilege, therefore exposing the relationship of whiteness to the audience (39). Walker makes herself liable in depicting such harsh images relating to the narrative of racist violence and by using racialized politics of modernism representation through abstraction, she challenges the presumed whiteness of the tradition (40). According to Bowles, through exploring whiteness in art, viewers can understand that the history is not essentially white and this can reveal the complicated …show more content…
Piper’s exhibition sought to look at whiteness in art spaces through this exchange of the calling cards that spoke to the problem of implicit racism that never gets recognized or discussed. The cards refer to the desire to confront racism and whiteness at the same time, where whiteness is seen as a normal social fact that can dominate otherness. Through the faux pas of such statements, Piper indicates that whiteness is both a social fact and a norm that gives a sense of entitlement. This series tackles the conventions of etiquette through challenging racist, hostile remarks made in public spaces in order to address the veil that protects those who offend. My Calling (Cards) challenges whiteness through critiquing their deep urges and responses to racism in social situations, where they fail to recognize their words as painful or upsetting to others, thus fail to acknowledge their racial impropriety. Furthermore, Piper’s exhibition presents a reconstructing of whiteness and racism confronting conscious and unconscious hatred with cards that uncover the normalcy of whiteness in and out of public spaces. Although Piper’s work shows the unveiling of whiteness, Ernesto Pujol’s art project deals with the role of whiteness and otherness in art

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