The Bi-Racial Artist Using White-Passing Characters to Talk About Blackness

Posted in Articles, Arts, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2018-06-08 02:42Z by Steven

The Bi-Racial Artist Using White-Passing Characters to Talk About Blackness

Sleek
2018-06-07

Harriet Shepherd, Junior Editor


Drive-By, Side-Eye, 2016 © Genevieve Gaignard, courtesy of the artist and Shulamit Nazarian, Los Angeles

Genevieve Gaignard uses American stereotypes and comfortable settings to confront uncomfortable issues surrounding race and identity.

American artist Genevieve Gaignard is a homebody. Not in the sense that she’s confined to the couch every Friday night, but rather that she’s infatuated with domestic spaces. “I’ve always had this fascination with what people surround themselves with in their homes,” she tells SLEEK. It’s a theme that’s been a constant in her work since she threw in the towel at cookery school and headed down a fine art path. From the panoramic interiors she lensed for her Yale application, to the carefully curated domestic installations that made up her solo show, Smell the Roses, at the Californian African American Museum earlier this year, to the household-centric creations currently on display at the Stephen Friedman Gallery in London — home is where Gaignard’s heart is.

Though she’s what you’d call a multidisciplinary artist, it’s Gaignard’s photography that’s earned her such widespread attention. Known for turning the lens on herself, Gaignard’s Cindy Sherman-esque self-portraits occupy a complex realm where class, race and gender intersect, seeing the artist assume caricatured roles that toy with her own bi-racial identity and the way that blackness and whiteness is perceived. And the home, more often than not, provides the comfortable backdrop for Gaignard’s more uncomfortable subject matter…

Read the entire article here.

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The Myth of Brazil’s Racial Democracy

Posted in Articles, Arts, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive on 2018-05-02 15:46Z by Steven

The Myth of Brazil’s Racial Democracy

aperture
2018-04-18

Amelia Rina
Brooklyn, New York


Jonathas de Andrade, Eu, mestiço, 2017–18
Courtesy Alexander and Bonin, New York

In a new exhibition, Jonathas de Andrade confronts his country’s complicated past and present.

Brazil is renowned in the world for its racial democracy,” begins anthropologist Charles Wagley in the 1952 study Race and Class in Rural Brazil. Produced by Columbia University and UNESCO, the text describes ethnographic studies performed by Wagley and his colleagues in four regions of Brazil. In each region, men and women from what they determined to be the four major racial groups—caboclo (indigenous and Afro-Brazilian), preto (Afro-Brazilian), mulato (Afro-Brazilian and white European), and branco (white European)—were shown photographs of other Brazilians from these categories and then asked to assign them different traits, such as most/least attractive, best/worst worker, most/least honest, most/least wealthy, et cetera. This binary restriction was one of the study’s major flaws that first intrigued Brazilian artist Jonathas de Andrade, and inspired his recent project, Eu, mestiço, currently on view at Alexander and Bonin

Read the entire review here.

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What does it mean to be of mixed race in America? A new book and exhibition aim to answer

Posted in Articles, Arts, Asian Diaspora, Media Archive, United States on 2018-04-08 22:07Z by Steven

What does it mean to be of mixed race in America? A new book and exhibition aim to answer

The Los Angeles Times
2018-04-06

Bonnie Tsui


Artist Kip Fulbeck continues his Hapa Project, begun in 2001, photographing people who identify as being of mixed race. His original portraits are paired with new pictures of the same individuals. (Kip Fulbeck)

Natalie Coughlin and Nathan Adrian are best known as world swimming champions — Coughlin as a 12-time Olympic medalist and the first woman to swim the 100-meter backstroke in under a minute, and Adrian as an eight-time Olympic medalist and a top freestyle sprinter for the U.S. national team. On a recent Saturday morning, they dropped those identities for a lesser-known one.

“Being hapa — that’s a big part of my identity,” Coughlin said, as she and Adrian each sat for a portrait by photographer Kip Fulbeck at a makeshift studio in Oakland.

Fulbeck started photographing people of mixed racial heritage in 2001. Hapa, a Hawaiian word for “part,” has been adopted by some as a way to describe themselves. After each sitting, Fulbeck asked participants to hand-write responses to the question: “What are you?”…

Read the entire article here.

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A different portrait of black fatherhood

Posted in Articles, Arts, Asian Diaspora, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, United States on 2018-03-06 19:31Z by Steven

A different portrait of black fatherhood

In Pictures
BBC News
2018-03-06


Zun Lee

Zun Lee was raised in Germany by Korean parents – but as an adult he discovered his real father was a black American with whom his mother had had a brief affair.

After this discovery, he began to explore fatherhood among black Americans.

Lee says the US media mainly portrays black fathers in one of two ways:

  • the absent father, often portrayed as a “deadbeat”
  • the traditional family patriarch, as seen in TV programmes such as The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

And his project, on display at the Bronx Documentary Centre, in New York, aims for a more balanced and nuanced portrayal.

Read the entire article here.

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An Interview with the American Photographer Chase Hall in the East Village, Manhattan

Posted in Articles, Arts, Interviews, Media Archive, United States on 2017-12-28 01:14Z by Steven

An Interview with the American Photographer Chase Hall in the East Village, Manhattan

Arteviste
2016-09-29

Flora Alexandra Ogilvy, Founder


Portrait by Flora Alexandra Ogilvy (2016)

Raised across Minnesota, Chicago, Las Vegas, Dubai and Malibu, the multifaceted photographer and painter Chase Hall now lives in the East Village, New York. Before moving to Manhattan to be surrounded by fellow artists, he worked in LA as an assistant on fashion shoots and did some commercial photography. We first met in the East Village live/work space in which he maintains a disciplined routine, waking up at dawn to work on his ongoing projects and self-taught skills, which are often learnt on YouTube. Known for his work’s optimism and carefree aesthetic, Chase is all about the process, and believes we ought to see more of the effort behind even the most spontaneous works of art. Although he doesn’t work directly within a collective, he draws from contemporaries Reed Burdge, Tucker Van Der Wyden and Grear Patterson with whom he has often discussed ideas and shared his work.

Using film cameras like the Leica M6 and Mamiya 6, Chase chooses a monochrome palette when working in the urban setting and takes colour photographs when travelling. When I looked through his portfolio there were gritty street scenes, colourful shots from the Jamaican jungle and simple compositions taken in California – he isn’t afraid of diversifying his subject matter. When in New York, he’ll set out each morning and walk up to 15 miles around the city, capturing people on the streets, whilst hoping to communicate a sense of optimism in his work. In fact, Chase is developing his street photography into a simple documentary about the effects of smiling on the streets. With each of his subjects, he writes journals about their stories, but also makes voice recordings so that he can remember the narrative behind the people in his portraits and can really take the time to get to know them…

Read the entire interview here.

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White House photographer’s book a powerful portrait of Obama’s presidency

Posted in Articles, Arts, Barack Obama, Book/Video Reviews, History, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2017-12-26 02:02Z by Steven

White House photographer’s book a powerful portrait of Obama’s presidency

The New Orleans Times-Picayune
2017-12-24

Sheila Stroup, The Times-Picayune


When 5-year-old Jacob Philadelphia wonders if his hair is like Barack Obama’s, the president offers him an opportunity to judge for himself. (Photo by Pete Souza, The White House)

I didn’t mean to read “Obama: An Intimate Portrait.” I was only going to look at a few of the pictures before I wrapped it up for Christmas. I’ve always felt it was cheating to read a book you’re giving as a gift.

I knew I wanted to give the book of photographs to our daughter Shannon and our grandchildren, Cilie and Devery, as soon as I heard Terry Gross interview Pete Souza, President Barack Obama’s Chief Official White House Photographer, on NPR’sFresh Air.” It sounded fascinating, and I wanted them to see that a person with skin the color of theirs could be president of our country.

Shannon adopted Cilie and Devery when they were babies. There was never any doubt they were hers, and nobody could love them more than she does.

Cilie is 8 now, and Devery is almost 6, and I know they must have questions about why their skin is a different color from their mom’s and their grandparents and their other relatives. I know they must get questions from other children.

I’ve never forgotten what happened one day when I took Devery to his swimming lesson a few years ago. There was a young dad there whose skin was the same beautiful tone as his, and he looked at Devery and said, “Oh, he’s going to get questions.”…

Read the entire review here.

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Dream Big Dreams: Photographs from Barack Obama’s Inspiring and Historic Presidency (Young Readers)

Posted in Arts, Barack Obama, Biography, Books, History, Media Archive, Monographs, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2017-12-25 20:50Z by Steven

Dream Big Dreams: Photographs from Barack Obama’s Inspiring and Historic Presidency (Young Readers)

Little, Brown and Company Young Readers (an imprint of Hachette Book Group)
2017-11-21
96 pages
Hardcover ISBN-13: 9780316514392
E-Book: ISBN-13: 9780316514118

Pete Souza

From former Chief Official White House Photographer Pete Souza comes a book for young readers that highlights Barack Obama’s historic presidency and the qualities and actions that make him so beloved.

Pete Souza served as Chief Official White House Photographer for President Obama’s full two terms. He was with the President during more crucial moments than anyone else – and he photographed them all, capturing scenes both classified and candid. Throughout his historic presidency, Obama engaged with young people as often as he could, encouraging them to be their best and do their best and to always “dream big dreams.” In this timeless and timely keepsake volume that features over seventy-five full-color photographs, Souza shows the qualities of President Obama that make him both a great leader and an extraordinary man. With behind-the-scenes anecdotes of some iconic photos alongside photos with his family, colleagues, and other world leaders, Souza tells the story of a president who made history and still made time to engage with even the youngest citizens of the country he served. By the author of Obama: An Intimate Portrait, the definitive visual biography of Barack Obama’s presidency, Dream Big Dreams was created especially for young readers and not only provides a beautiful portrait of a president but shows the true spirit of the man.

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Angry in Omaha

Posted in Arts, History, Law, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2017-06-28 00:47Z by Steven

Angry in Omaha

Captured and Exposed: Vintage Photography & True Crime Stories
2017-06-08

Shayne Davidson


Minnie Bradley’s 1902 mugshot. Collection of the Nebraska State Historical Society.

Minnie Bradley was arrested on the evening of December 11, 1902, and charged with “larceny from the person” or pickpocketing. Someone from the Midway Saloon, a well-known dance hall and whorehouse owned by several notorious Omaha crime bosses, offered to pay her $25 bond. Before she was released, W. H. Breiter showed up at the police station and identified Minnie as the person who had robbed him earlier that evening. Minnie offered Breiter $5 to drop the charge, but he refused, so she spent the night in jail…

…Minnie returned to Omaha in 1904 and made two more appearances in police court before Judge Berka. The first, in March 1904, was as witness against a man named William Warwick, who was accused of assaulting her. The two had gotten into a heated argument when he bragged to her that, due to his light complexion, he often passed as a white man during his travels out west. He also mentioned that he had been in the company of two white women the previous evening. Minnie said William should show more respect for his race and reminded him that his mother was a black woman. His response was to punch her. Judge Berka sentenced him to 30 days in jail…

Read the entire article here.

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“We Are Not Used to People Thinking We Are Beautiful”

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Arts, Caribbean/Latin America, Media Archive, Mexico on 2017-06-08 00:49Z by Steven

“We Are Not Used to People Thinking We Are Beautiful”

The New Yorker
2017-06-02

Jonathan Blitzer


Photograph by Cécile Smetana Baudier

It was a toothache that brought the Franco-Danish photographer Cécile Smetana Baudier to Costa Chica, on the Pacific Coast of Mexico. She was in Oaxaca at the time, for a project on women’s fashion, when she visited a dentist with a special reputation among cash-strapped local photographers. He accepted payment in the form of photographs. His waiting room, in Oaxaca City, was like a gallery, with framed images along the walls and piles of art books cascading over tables. There, just before getting a molar pulled, Baudier came across a series of photos of reedy men with fishing rods and nets, lolling in boats and along the banks of lagoons. She was surprised, given the fact that the men were black, to learn that the photographs had been taken in Mexico, in the remote southern states of Oaxaca and Guerrero. It was the first time she had ever seen images of Afro-Mexicans, and she decided to try to contribute some of her own. A few weeks later, she set out for El Azufre—a secluded coastal fishing village with a large Afro-Mexican population—where she spent five weeks living in a tent pitched on the front yard of an acquaintance’s house.

The African presence in Mexico dates back to the early sixteenth century, when Spanish conquistadors and colonialists arrived; with them came the slave trade. As many as two hundred and fifty thousand African slaves were transported Mexico, according to academic estimates*. At the turn of the nineteenth century, ten per cent of the population had African origins, but Mexican independence ignited a new national dialogue that downplayed race and elevated, instead, the idea of common citizenship. Even though some of the country’s most iconic freedom fighters and early politicians had African roots, their accomplishments fed a celebration of the broader mestizo culture. The history of Afro-Mexicans ever since has been one of erasure and marginalization. Today, there are 1.4 million citizens of African descent in Mexico, but the government did not recognize them officially until a 2015 census count…

Read the entire article here.

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Australia’s ‘Stolen Generations’ Tell Their Stories

Posted in Articles, Arts, Autobiography, Media Archive, Oceania on 2017-05-28 22:50Z by Steven

Australia’s ‘Stolen Generations’ Tell Their Stories

Lens: Photography, Video and Visual Journalism
The New York Times
2017-05-24

Evelyn Nieves


Margaret Furber was born in Alice Springs, Australia, in 1947. She was placed in St. Mary’s Hostel on the outskirts of town because her mother was not able to take care of her. Her siblings were all sent to the Tiwi Islands. “We were all taken and separated in different ways,” she told the photographer. Nov. 6, 2015.
Matthew Sherwood

Alfred Calma was 4 years old when the police snatched him from his mother, never to live with her again. Joyce Napurrula-Schroeder was not quite 2 when it happened to her. Luke Morcom was a newborn, barely a week on this earth.

All had the bad luck of being born “half caste” during Australia’s disastrous experiment with forced assimilation. For 60 years, until 1970, government policies rounded up Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children deemed to be part-white and sent them to boarding schools and church-run missions. Like the Canadian First Nations’ and the United States’ Indian boarding schools that served as its model, Australia’s program aimed to beat out all traces of indigenous culture, often literally.

Run more like penal colonies than schools, these institutions scarred their young wards and their communities for life.

Decades later, when Matthew Sherwood, a Canadian photojournalist, began documenting survivors of the boarding schools — the “stolen generations,” as Australia calls them — they unleashed hellish memories where neglect was the best it ever got…

Read the entire article here.

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