An Unending Theft of Opportunity
Issue

7.3 / An Unending Theft of Opportunity

December 16 2015

Introduction

Artists interpret culture. They report on the social condition. They perform, document, and represent our human experience. This thematic issue draws from the archives of Art Practical, Daily Serving, East of Borneo, Lenny, and Art21 to chronicle artists’ responses to the deeply intertwined realities of racism and economic inequity. It also underscores the limited participation in institutionally sanctioned art that people of color experience as producers and viewers. This is the first time that a thematic issue in this publication draws extensively on archives besides its own. Our intention is to demonstrate the prevailing concern artists and writers across the U.S. (and beyond) have for the effects of economic violence, how it shapes the representation and reception of culture, and where the boundaries of accessibility are drawn.

The articles in this thematic issue are presented for the reader to juxtapose, compare, contrast, and critique the work featured. The artists highlighted are of different races and ethnicities. They employ a multitude techniques and methodologies, and they possess individual agendas. What they have in common is their exposition of the unending theft of opportunity and the subsequent poverty—financial and cultural—that is created. Their projects bring into focus questions about who is creating the representation and how that representative body shapes the reception of race. The artists included here undertake the hard work of conjuring the violence that is sometimes only perceptible as absence or void. It is therefore all the more important to make room for it.—Veronica Jackson with Patricia Maloney

Features

Photographing the Invisible

Photographing the Invisible

By Liena Vayzman

Frazier marshals photography’s innate ability to create visibility–an indelible visual record–for the marginalized and oppressed.

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Sweet and Low

Sweet and Low

By Anuradha Vikram

Walker’s return to the figurative monument form in the context of a site-specific, research-centric public art project represents a completion of the circuit from monument to anti-monument.

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Ceremony of Us

Ceremony of Us

By Robby Herbst

Ceremony of Us set itself the goal of making a dance happening of a healing encounter between conflicting races.

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Mimics and Minstrels

Mimics and Minstrels

By Anuradha Vikram

These two stories illustrate the challenges that appropriation-based institutional critique continues to represent for art-world institutions that are resistant to change.

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Columns

An Old American Problem

An Old American Problem

By Amelia Rina

By inserting himself as the artist/photographer/author, as opposed to a neutral observer, he dilutes his credibility as a critic.

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