Kanye Collaborator Vanessa Beecroft Reveals A Common Misconception About Race

Posted in Articles, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, United States on 2016-08-28 01:37Z by Steven

Kanye Collaborator Vanessa Beecroft Reveals A Common Misconception About Race


Tricia Tongco

Vanessa Beecroft is best known as the artist who has collaborated with Kanye West on several of the rapper’s most noteworthy visuals, from the “Runaway” mini-movie to the Yeezy Season 3 fashion show.

But thanks to a recently published profile in New York Magazine, Beecroft is gaining notoriety in her own right. In the piece, she makes several bizarre statements, but her first quote in the piece is probably the most questionable:

“I have divided my personality,” she says. “There is Vanessa Beecroft as a European white female, and then there is Vanessa Beecroft as Kanye, an African-American male.” Later she tells me, “I even did a DNA test thinking maybe I am black? I actually wasn’t. I was kind of disappointed, and I don’t want to believe it. I want to do it again, because when I work with Africans or African-Americans, I feel that I am autobiographical. If I don’t call myself white, maybe I am not.”…

…The mainstream belief in the scientific community is that race is a social construct without biological meaning, with research demonstrating that genetic differences are not fixed along racial lines.

By that logic, there’s nothing wrong with what Vanity Fair describes as Beecroft’s “choose-your-own-race views.”

However, as a white woman from Italy, Beecroft is able to propose that choice from a place of privilege, while her black collaborator Kanye cannot. Also, no matter what racial identity she “feels” or identifies with at any given moment, she still benefits from white privilege, because she looks white and others treat her as such…

Read the entire article here.

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