Albums of Inclusion: The Photographic Poetics of Caribbean Chinese Visual Kinship

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Caribbean/Latin America, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive on 2018-08-10 00:06Z by Steven

Albums of Inclusion: The Photographic Poetics of Caribbean Chinese Visual Kinship

Small Axe: A Caribbean Journal of Criticism
Volume 22, Number 2 (56)
2018-07-01
pages 35-56
DOI: 10.1215/07990537-6985666

Tao Leigh Goffe, Assistant Professor of Africana Studies and Feminist, Gender, & Sexuality Studies
Cornell University, Ithaca, New York

Issue Cover

This essay focuses on artwork that centers family photographs and home movies as a point of departure to trouble the conventional family album in order to narrate a story about Caribbean Chinese kinship. In the art examined, personal visual archives are used to respond to the lacuna of Caribbean Chinese familial intimacies from the colonial archive. Engaging shared themes of migration and racialized ideas of reproduction, three contemporary diasporic visual artists—Albert Chong, Richard Fung, and Tomie Arai—mine oral histories and family archives to blend aural and visual narratives. These artists rupture the surface of family images to trouble the bourgeois, heteronormative, and colorist scripts that often police the formation of family. The family album is rearranged and marked up; thus it becomes rendered as flesh inscribed with silent narratives. Through different forms of remixing, they engage with the affect and entanglements of family photography to form a visual vocabulary of diasporic kinship. In doing so, the artwork—collages, documentaries, installations—interrogates the afterlife of the nineteenth-century European colonial experiment of Chinese indenture, designed to install a discreet “buffer race” between the white minority and the black majority in the Caribbean after abolition. The experiment, which depended on the capacity for the Chinese to develop bourgeois domesticity in the Caribbean after abolition, failed because of sexual intimacies between people of African descent and people of Asian descent, beyond the imperial order’s imagining. Another future of familial intimacies in the diaspora is present in the artists’ aesthetic of fragmentation and collage.

Read or purchase the article here.

Tags: , , , , , ,

‘There’s Enough Damsels in Distress’: Artist Genevieve Gaignard Wants to Undermine Your Assumptions About Beauty and Blackness

Posted in Articles, Arts, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, United States on 2018-08-04 01:17Z by Steven

‘There’s Enough Damsels in Distress’: Artist Genevieve Gaignard Wants to Undermine Your Assumptions About Beauty and Blackness

artnet News
2018-08-03

Sarah Cascone, Associate Editor

Genevieve Gaignard, You’ve Wronged, Now Make it Right (2018). Photo courtesy of Shulamit Nazarian, Los Angeles/the FLAG Art Foundation, New York; ©Genevieve Gaignard.
Genevieve Gaignard, You’ve Wronged, Now Make it Right (2018). Photo courtesy of Shulamit Nazarian, Los Angeles/the FLAG Art Foundation, New York; ©Genevieve Gaignard.

In her first New York show, the artist creates unexpected characters that defy stereotypes.

Genevieve Gaignard’s work is deceptive—and that’s no accident. Her pleasingly arranged collages, heavily knick-knacked installations of cozy-looking domestic interiors, and well-lit, cheerfully colorful portrait photography draw the viewer in, belying her willingness to confront the sensitive issues of race, stereotypes, beauty standards, consumption, and identity.

Each photograph features Gaignard herself, transformed by wigs and costumes into a variety of characters. The artist is a fair-skinned mixed-race woman of color who can take on vastly disparate identities, casting herself one moment as a prim blonde housewife and the next as a young woman with hoop earrings and a shirt that reads “Hoodrat Thangs.”

“I’m trying to show that blackness comes in many different shades,” Gaignard explained to artnet News during a tour of her current exhibition, “Genevieve Gaignard: Counterfeit Currency,” her first in New York, at the FLAG Art Foundation

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , ,

Two Berlin Filmmakers Reflect on Germany’s Racial Dynamics

Posted in Articles, Arts, Europe, Literary/Artistic Criticism on 2018-08-03 18:34Z by Steven

Two Berlin Filmmakers Reflect on Germany’s Racial Dynamics

Hyperallergic
2018-08-03

Adela Yawitz
Berlin, Germany


Natasha A. Kelly, Millis Erwachen/Milli’s Awakening (2018), video, b/w, sound, 45′, video still (courtesy Natasha A. Kelly)

In their films at the Berlin Biennial, Natasha A. Kelly and Mario Pfeifer address the growing divide in Germany between the politics of liberal inclusion and on-the-ground ignorance, racism, and suppression.

BERLIN — The 10th edition of the Berlin Biennale opened in June. Ambitious yet unpretentious, the exhibition features 46 artists across 5 venues. The Biennale’s curator, Gabi Ngcobo, and her team create a setting for perceiving and relating to the artworks on view with little layering of textual analysis and without tying them explicitly to the artists’ biographies. In fact, the Biennale omits general information regarding artists’ nationalities and dates of birth. This is refreshing, not because it implies that the artworks should stand on their own, but as a political signal against the convention of touting artists’ diversity as a symbol of the institution’s progressive politics or post-colonial criticality. At this Biennale, artists — and curators — of color are the majority, yet this alone is not its primary subject nor its intention…

…In Milli’s Awakening (2018), artist and academic activist Natasha A. Kelly weaves together portraits of eight Afro-German women of different generations. Their lives have all been touched by art, in one way or another, and many of them tell stories of structural barriers and marginalization in and out of the art world. Maciré, an activist from Bremen recounts how she understood in retrospect that her film, shown at the local museum, had been used to legitimate the exhibition as a whole by providing a non-white, critical perspective. She has since decided to invest in working for her own community, not for the white audiences of the Kunsthalle. Diana from Bavaria, who identifies as intersex, recalls taking refuge in photography to overcome her discomfort with her own body as a teenager. And the artist Maseho reads from her tongue-in-cheek guide for Black POCs traveling in Germany; she advises saving time by telling Germans you are from “USA” or “Afrika,” since other answers would devastate their view of the world…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

‘My Racial Identity’ explores feelings about race

Posted in Articles, Arts, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States on 2018-07-01 20:36Z by Steven

‘My Racial Identity’ explores feelings about race

Montclair Local
Montclair, New Jersey
2018-06-08

Gwen Orel, Features Editor

racial
Charles Williams of Montclair, 19, a Parsons School of Design rising sophomore, is creating a photography portfolio of mixed race friends, “My Racial Identity, Part 1,” and intends to dive deeper in Part 2.
ADAM ANIK/FOR MONTCLAIR LOCAL

Montclair artist’s photo project delves into discussion

Growing up in Montclair, Charles Williams sometimes said his dad was Cuban.

That’s not really true.

“When I was younger, I looked a little bit towards Asian, then black, Hispanic. Growing up, we really didn’t talk about race in my household, so I didn’t really feel it was an issue. Until my friends, they would ask me, what are you?” Williams said. “Your mom’s not black. You have a white name.”

His mom is black. She’s from D.C., and his father is a white man from Florida, with some Cuban in him.

“‘My dad does look Cuban,” Williams said. So saying his father was Cuban was a way of ending the questions of what are you? and where are you from? “You kind of get sick of it, so you say something to let it go.”

Today, people talk about race. Williams is exploring it in his new photography project, “My Racial Identity,” that he started during his first year at Parsons School of Design. Williams’ photography can be seen at charleswilliams.work

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , ,

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.

Tags: , , , ,

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.

Tags: , , , , ,

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.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

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.

Tags: , , ,

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.

Tags: , , ,

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.

Tags: , , , ,