Commentary By John Bowles

to gallery | to commentary by Tim Engles

Ever After Whiteness

More than a decade ago, Adrian Piper asked us, with good humor, to imagine an exhibition that proudly celebrated the work of white artists: “In what sense does it make sense to do a show of black artists, unless you think it makes sense to do a show of white artists? Think of it…a show entitled Four Photo-Realist White Males. You never see such a show.” [1] Piper’s point is that an exhibition touting the work of white males seems absurd – while an exhibition of black art does not – because the “whiteness” of the artists most widely exhibited in America goes unspoken. On the other hand, the work of black artists has frequently been treated as if it bears some extraneous meaning that is unique to the work of black artists and of interest only to black audiences. This exhibition asks what it is about some art that has allowed it to pass for art, whereas other art has been understood as something else; whether the situation has changed; and whether we can imagine a world that exists “after whiteness.”

When asked what comes after whiteness, our first answer might be, Everything. Whiteness proclaims itself the origin of modern culture. As a unifying condition for art, whiteness all too often serves as the pre-existing norm for a universalist philosophy that renders everything else contingent. This attitude finds expression in the judgment that contemporary art from Africa or Latin America – or made by Americans not identified as white – is “derivative” of art by white artists from the U.S. and Europe. Faith Ringgold has challenged this attitude by questioning the originality of Euro-American Modernism.[2] Luis Camnitzer approaches the issue differently, suggesting that the mainstreaming of the U.S. avant-garde – “the Wonder Bread appreciation of art” – has become one more facet of a homogenizing and dehumanizing globalization.[3] In a gesture of historical equivalence, modern art can be understood as suited to the time and place of its creation, just like that made in New York or Paris. In this model, no art plays the role of origin because all art is contingent. Okwui Enwezor has in recent years offered a particularly useful approach for the 21st century: he regards any contemporary art as a specific and local response to issues and art that are of global significance.

Against such efforts to decenter and internationalize (“anticolonialism,” bell hooks calls it),[4] whiteness becomes evident as a tactical defensiveness. In answer to the question of what comes after whiteness, then, we might also answer, Nothing. Historically, within the discipline of art history, whiteness has served as one necessary – if unspoken – condition for art. This is not to say that we accept the self-destructive fantasy that lies at the heart of white supremacist ideology – that the consequences of an end to whiteness can only be chaos and Armageddon.[5] Rather, modernist criticism posits that everything else that came before whiteness did so in the figure of the primitive. Whiteness itself remains elusive. In order to challenge its influence, must we be ever after whiteness?


Abstraction and formalism have become a final bastion of whiteness in American art, evident in a defensive posture toward the work of artists not regarded as white. Art critic Clement Greenberg assumed that the artist would erase himself in painting, making an image loosed from the material and historical particularities of its creation. This attitude provided the art critic with a moral defense for his predilection for reviewing and supporting only white artists. As Ann Gibson argues, Greenberg’s refusal to acknowledge artists’ explanations of their own work “permitted judgments based on race and gender prejudice to operate undiscussed and unacknowledged” because the critic could claim to be uninterested in and untouched by issues of race and gender. This situation, Gibson continues, “contributed to the creation of a dominant realm in which biography and politics played no admitted part, but in whose preferred subjects and subject matter the continuing exclusionary function of these factors is evident.”[6] More recently, Howardena Pindell has written that she became fed up with white curators – and white feminists, in particular – who in the 1970s passed over her abstract paintings in favor of other artists’ work that cast blacks only as the victims of racism. The curators who expressed dissatisfaction with her work wanted art that made an overt political statement, and this determined whose art was exhibited and whose was not. In response, Pindell changed her work.[7] In the 1980s, she made paintings that, in part, addressed the white curators who took it upon themselves to define black art. In Autobiography: Water/Ancestors/Middle Passage/Family Ghosts, for example, Pindell’s self-portrait appears to float, dive, and sink in a sea of abstract marks. Her figure is surrounded by staring eyes, images that refer to the Middle Passage, and a legal text detailing the sexualized violence of American racism. Her body thus emerges within the composition as the very site where black identity is contested and defined in art and history. Abstraction has, in Pindell’s work, become hostile ground. It has been compromised – racialized by others in ways not previously made visible.

Suk Ja Kang Engles – curator of this exhibition – believes that most white viewers still expect an artist who they think is not white to be incapable of making purely formal art. White viewers of her abstract paintings often regard them as the exotic expression of a racialized body. She anticipates this response now, and indeed seeks to address it in such works as her installation, Madame Butterfly Sings to Jackson Pollock, in which an oversized white painting cries tears of white paint onto the gallery floor as it listens to a recording of Madame Butterfly. Rather than put herself on display, however, Kang Engles reverses the roles. She is absent from the work, replaced by a recording of Puccini’s tragic tale of exotic romance that plays in the gallery. Kang Engles is present only as the European fantasy of Asian sexuality. Her canvas, on the other hand, is white. It serves as an allegorical figure for the white body that exists – like her own – only in and as representation. With this work, Kang Engles explains, she aligns herself with the growing number of artists whose work challenges the effects of whiteness:

As the huge canvas communes blankly with the fantasized, representative conceptions of East and West…the pool of white paint flowing from the canvas could represent “white” tears spilled over the supposed, oft-remarked beauty of Puccini’s music and sentiments, but also the wounded, bleeding artistic hegemony of white masculinity as it bears the gathering onslaught of pieces such as this one, produced by minority artists working in active resistance to its influence and centrality. [8]

The white body is dismembered, flayed, displayed and fetishized, figuratively attacked by Kang Engles. Her target is not a person or even a racial or ethnic group, however, but a representation. It is significant that the canvas’s tears can also represent blood, according to the artist’s description, and that this white blood is literally white paint. Race becomes an issue of artistry rather than biology.

Kang Engles addresses the intransigence of race – its resistance to critique – through the self-administered violence that whiteness provokes in those who cannot see themselves in its ideal image. In her video, Eye-con, we watch a young woman of Asian descent look into a hand-held mirror and then draw a picture of her eye. What she draws first does not appear to be her own – it is a wide blue eye – and the woman erases it. She tries again and repeats her failure. She concentrates on her reflection in the mirror and, with increasing frustration, makes continued attempts to draw what she sees. Each effort narrows the eye, as if to close it, until she is left with a slim crescent. The artist’s most accurate representation comes only when she seems no longer able to look at herself. It is as if she would rather fail as a realist than have to face the fact that her eyes do not match the whitened American ideal she has learned. Kang Engles isolates a recognized marker of racial difference: the Asian eye. She recognizes the violence necessary for the perpetuation of whiteness by focusing on and isolating one part of her body, just as popular representations and stereotypes of Asians do in America. This suggests, she explains,

the fragmentation of the Orientalized female subject into exoticized, symbolically resonant body parts (especially “silky” hair and “almond” eyes), as well as the paradoxically countervailing self-hatred instilled by the white gaze in those Asian women who resort to the self-mutilation of cosmetic surgery, seeking to widen their eyes into startled looks that approximate the eyes of European descent.[9]

She stages the internalized conflict through which many women of Asian descent suffer: a body fragmented and fetishized in the hope of conforming to images of white beauty circulated by the American media. In Kang Engles’ video, Iris, the artist has digitally altered footage of her naked body to create impossible poses that suggest the eroticized image of Asian acrobatic contortionists. “On a symbolic level,” the artist explains, “they represent for me the painful psychological contortions often undertaken by Asian women who encounter and try to embody American society’s exoticizing, sexualizing expectations regarding themselves, and also try at the same time to contort themselves toward whitened beauty standards.”[10] Because Iris is projected onto the gallery floor, viewers must lean between projector and image in order to watch the video, and in the process their shadows are imposed upon Kang Engles’ contortions – viewers thus mark the position of privilege from which they watch the artist perform for them. In the process, Kang Engles’s work also implicates art – including abstraction – in the perpetuation of whiteness.


The privilege of whiteness is also sustained by recognizing a black person only as the figure of blackness. Martiniquan psychoanalyst Frantz Fanon realized this once, he wrote, when a French girl saw him on a train and proclaimed to her mother, “Look, a Negro!” Fanon recalls,

I was responsible at the same time for my body, for my race, for my ancestors. I subjected myself to an objective examination, I discovered my blackness, my ethnic characteristics; and I was battered down by tom-toms, cannibalism, intellectual deficiency, fetishism, racial defects, slave-ships, and above all else, above all: “Sho’ good eatin’.” [11]

The girl’s judgment – that Fanon was, without question, black – is based on what she took for a simple fact: skin color. But as Fanon’s self-examination illustrates, public discussion of his skin color locates him in what he calls a “racial epidermal schema,” a value system that identifies black skin with a range of stereotypical characteristics internalized by both blacks and whites.[12] Writing of the encounter in retrospect, Fanon realizes that the girl’s denunciation assigned him full responsibility for the situation. In a racist society, it is up to the victim to fulfill the racist’s insulting fantasies or somehow find a way to disprove them. This is the burden of visibility that Fanon’s American contemporary Ralph Ellison explored in his novel Invisible Man: No matter how he tried, Ellison’s black protagonist could not get white employers or friends to see him as anything other than the figure of their preconceived notions of a black man. The social encounter is explicitly scripted in advance in such a way as to affirm illusions of racial difference.

Time and space are not abstractions but define the instance in which we encounter each other as racialized bodies. It is in time and space that the drama of race is played. Kojo Griffin stages this in his drawings. The blank space of the paper in between figures resembling giant stuffed animals is fraught with immanent fear. In one drawing, a horse-headed man at the bottom of the page stares blankly as he mops while, in the middle distance, a bear-headed businessman walks away. Griffin represents the studied isolation of the lobby or the sidewalk. Each figure’s alienation is so complete as to appear theatrical in a performance that assures the other, “I won’t recognize you if you won’t address me.” In this way, the blank space in which they might have met also represents a sort of demilitarized zone; the tacit agreement underlines the fact that neither man can tolerate the other’s presence. The refusal to interact meaningfully validates the expectation of unbridgeable difference. Griffin’s drawings portray the unconscious drama of invisibility that sustains the racist status quo.

The blank space in Griffin’s drawing is not merely representational, however. It serves, also, to implicate art itself as one arena in which the dramas defining race are played. This is easier to recognize in Griffin’s paintings, in which the backgrounds are not blank, but painted to resemble the Color Field paintings art critic Michael Fried has hailed as the culmination of Modernist painting. Griffin’s figures interact – they only appear not to – against the kind of painting that Fried believed would reveal itself as “presentness,” a kind of divine picture of Creation that exists beyond the realm of the contingent and the mundane. Fried’s Modernist painting claims to present the viewer with nothing less than Truth. Griffin’s reworking of Color Field renders it historically specific in order to expose the fallacy in Fried’s theory. While Fried was willing to concede that a viewer had to know how to look at a Modernist painting in order to experience it properly, he did not recognize that what such a properly educated and acculturated viewer experienced depends less on divine presentness than on circumstance.[13] Griffin’s paintings return abstraction to the realm of the everyday, staging the interpersonal conflicts that define race against a background that, emptied of transcendent value, becomes beautiful and decorative.

Griffin’s horse- and bear-headed figures are not recognizably black or white and for this reason they confound our attempts to identify them. Returning to the example of Griffin’s drawing of a mopping horse-headed man and a bear-headed businessman, the work appears deliberately ambiguous, refusing to take responsibility for the viewer’s need to attribute racial identity to the figures. Griffin explains that “the work is purposely incomplete until the viewer assigns values to the parts and meaning to the whole….The work is full of my ideas but my ongoing attempts are…toward creating art that engages people in a personal (internal) dialogue.”[14] We must acknowledge our interpretations as our own and understand our inability to resolve the relationship between Griffin’s figures as evidence of the instability of racial difference. If we imagine that the figure mopping represents a black laborer and that the bear-headed businessman is white, then the drawing may illustrate the injustice of racism. At the same time, by assuming that the worker is black and that the businessman is not, we risk naturalizing racial difference and stereotype. This is one example of how the study of whiteness can unwittingly reify the hierarchy of race in America. On the other hand, reversing the roles risks supporting the conservative image of America as a “colorblind” society in which affirmative action helps only the well-to-do members of racial “minorities” and perpetuates the problem of white poverty. In either case, however, the issue of class is undeniable and should alert us to its role in both the perpetuation of racism and the debate over ending racial injustice in America. Griffin’s artworks point to the fact that, in order to imagine a society in which whiteness no longer matters, we must also resolve the interrelated problem of economic injustice.


Laurie Hogin’s realist paintings of white monkeys present allegories of objectivity as pose. Cloaked in white cloth, the monkey in The Spectrum of Our Discourse: The Scholar, for example, assumes the mantle of innocence and objectivity, a position of authority based upon the ability to consider any issue rationally and dispassionately. The monkey is traditionally also an allegorical figure of imitation, however. Objectivity bears the promise of original scholarship that is not prejudiced by uninformed opinion, but Hogin’s monkey-scholar can only repeat the work of his or her predecessors and peers. The scholar-monkey’s white fur also serves as an allegory for racial whiteness. It represents a species that proclaims itself by the absence of distinctive markings. This monkey is remarkable, in turn, as the figure of its own whiteness – it seems raceless and unopinionated. Hogin’s painting thus challenges the authority that adheres to whiteness in academia.

Hogin’s project is itself one of mimicry. She imitates a recognizable style in order to stage her own objectivity. Her allegorical paintings of white monkeys borrow their subject matter and style from the conventions of seventeenth-century Dutch art. By imitating a familiar and anachronistic style, Hogin draws curious viewers to her work. She has warned that “to aestheticize that which we repress – poverty, addiction, compulsion, sadism, the apocalypse – puts it in the realm of fantasy, a thing we can master and enjoy” without resolving it. She calls instead for “an art that directly addresses the meaning and import of beauty as a structure of signifying practices by being, for lack of a better term, beautiful….Just as it delivers, it disrupts.”[15] Hogin’s work seduces the viewer with beautiful grotesqueries in order to prove the inability of fantasy alone to provoke change. In effect, she asks what use an objective scholar would serve, were one to exist. This is not to say that truth is impossible or scholarship untenable. Rather, Hogin’s work demands that the scholar acknowledge that claims to objectivity sustain assumptions regarding racial difference.


Whiteness is a fantasy. It promises beauty, success, sophistication and love. Like all fantasies, it has been repeated and shared. With each telling, it acquires power. Yet fantasy – the desire for a life we recognize as unattainable but must nevertheless believe in – torments those who work to achieve it. Hélèn Cixous has remarked, for example, that the fairy tales women learn as children enforce traditional gender roles not simply by providing girls with particular role models of femininity but by creating the pleasurable means for learning subjection. Language – and the literature of fairy tales, in particular – presents women with a problem because it provides a means for self-definition that also sustains a structure of desire that women can inhabit only passively. To recount or remember the story of Sleeping Beauty is to inscribe oneself within a patriarchal order.[16] The artwork of Katherine Bartel elaborates upon Cixous’ thesis, contributing the idea that fairy tales also encourage girls to desire whiteness as an important criterion of beauty. The seven tea towels in Bartel’s To Do List record her performance of chores and crafts that white women and girls living in the rural Midwest are encouraged to pursue – shopping, sewing, and cleaning, always dreaming of marrying a prince. She displays the results in such a way as to reveal and denaturalize the ways in which “women’s work” can enact and sustain the desire to inhabit both conventional gender roles and whiteness.

The tea towels provide examples of the ways in which fairy tales establish a fantasy realm of pleasure and leisure in which women do no chores. Each towel bears a picture of one of the figures Bartel calls “the important princesses of our lives: Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and Snow White, along with their princes.”[17] At the same time, however, girls learn the stories of Sleeping Beauty and Snow White through such traditional women’s handicrafts and tasks as embroidering, ironing, and washing. Bartel has therefore also embroidered several images on each tea towel representing women’s chores traditionally associated with the days of the week: wash on Monday, iron on Tuesday, mend on Wednesday, shop on Thursday, clean on Friday, bake on Saturday and go to church and make dinner for guests on Sunday. Additional embroidered sayings advise girls to “wear clean underwear,” “stay thin,” “stay young,” and “cross your legs” in order to “get married.” Appliquéed pictures of housewives from advertisements of the 1950s and 1960s reinforce the advice: on the “Monday” towel, a young, thin white woman reclining languorously in a Lycra girdle is told to “wear clean underwear.” On Friday, a cheerful brunette is told to “clean without slaving…and feel like a queen!” On Saturday, whiteness is most clearly aligned with beauty and youth: a blonde in a beautiful blue dress stands in her spotless kitchen; she is told to “stay young” and is presented on the towel between the clearly cautionary ethnic images of Aunt Jemima and a heavy-set Italian matron advertising meatballs. Beauty is thus dependent upon a particular whiteness that bears no markers of age or ethnicity. A truly white woman, the ads imply, need not fear being associated with African-American or Italian-American culture just because she cooks her husband pancakes for breakfast and spaghetti with meatballs for dinner – she can live the fairy tale of a life unencumbered by race.

Bartel counters the advertised fantasy by personalizing her work. To do this, she uses source material from her youth: pictures of princesses copied from a 1956 coloring book and traditional embroidery patterns still sold in hobby stores. Bartel also affixes new iron-on patches of Disney-style princesses and miniature doll-house buckets, mops, babies and bridal veils in order to emphasize that girls and women continue to learn traditional gender roles in similar ways. Furthermore, the “Tuesday” towel – “iron” and “get married” – includes images that draw directly upon Bartel’s own girlhood, as she explains: “The images include a bride and groom from the 1950’s and myself at the age of five when I had followed a bride around so longingly that she finally put a veil on my head. As a child, I kept a scrapbook of brides. They were the ultimate princesses. Though Sleeping Beauty was somewhat fictional, the brides were not.”[18] Each towel serves as a glance at oneself in the mirror – the artist enacts the hope of finding herself reflected back in the image of a fairy tale princess. Obscuring this image, however, are innumerable admonishments to try to look more beautiful. Bartel describes the limits of her fantasy. “The escape from all this for me was the hope of becoming a princess,” she writes, “For this, one has to be white.”[19] She cites Carrie Mae Weems’ work, Mirror, Mirror, to demonstrate her point. In Weems’ captioned photograph, a black woman stands before a mirror and is told by her spiteful white reflection that the most beautiful woman is not her; it’s “Snow White you black bitch, and don’t you forget it!” The black woman suffers the self-deprecating encounter of internalized racism because, as Weems explains, “we all occupy a position relative to the stereotype.”[20] Bartel, as a girl, may not have denounced herself with the same violent self-hatred that the woman in Weems’ work suffers – Bartel in fact identified herself closely with the pictures of white brides she collected in her scrapbook – but her awareness of constant and repeated warnings to make herself look and behave like Snow White imply that it is impossible that she will ever achieve her fantasy. Bartel’s appropriated imagery demonstrates that when women are allowed time for creative expression, they are encouraged to work within carefully prescribed parameters. Each stitch of the embroidery represents an effort to acquire the correct womanly skills. The proliferation of images suggests the pressure to conform to conventional, whitened images of feminine beauty.


Conservative politicians – black, white, Asia-American and Latino – have recently proclaimed the United States “colorblind,” implying that the nation has resolved the crisis of race. In opinion polls, however, Americans are less certain. Many white Americans proclaim that racism is not a problem while respondents who do not consider themselves white profess to feel racism’s effects on a regular basis.[21] To expose the fissure of race that disfigures America, some artists have taken to provoking viewers with what Adrian Piper calls “the liberal dilemma”: the guilt felt by any American who detests racism, but will not acknowledge the likelihood that his or her ancestry might not be purely European. The need to declare oneself white becomes a moral issue rather than one of genetics or parentage. Other artists have made work that locates this debate in the world of politics. In 1988, for example, David Hammons painted a billboard-sized portrait of Jesse Jackson with blonde hair and blue eyes who asked, “How ya like me now?” in order to provoke Democrats – white and black – who might have supported Jackson’s campaign for the presidency had he been white. More recently, Glen Ligon’s paintings based on children’s coloring books from the Black Power Movement – including white-face portraits of Malcolm X – ask whether Americans, regardless of race, must see our heroes and political leaders as white.

According to Bitter Nigger, Inc. – a corporation of artist Tana Hargest’s imagination – race is an addiction; with the help of pharmaceuticals, we can become racists in recovery. BNI sells quick-fix solutions that resemble those marketed to help consumers lose weight, sleep well and quit smoking. For example, BNI has created Tominex, the “go along to get along” drug that will repress the feelings of anger brought on by racism. Other consumers may prefer Privitrol, a dermal patch that the company advertises as a “highly effective form of privilege replacement therapy” for those with an “overreliance upon the privilege that white skin provides.” Such treatments promise to temporarily cure certain symptoms brought on by racism without altering the mentality that is their root cause (the Privitrol patch must be worn continuously to have a lasting effect, for example). Researchers at BNI are not oblivious to the history of race relations in the United States; they view it as a world of fantasy and entertainment. Much as Kara Walker mines the American imagination for harrowing images of the South as the fictionalized place where all racial violence occurs, Hargest imagines researchers learning about racism and its effects from American popular film, theater and music. This is most clear in the theme park BNI is developing: New Negrotopia. Here, visitors may live out their fantasies as either master or slave. The effect will be a sort of self-denigration, in either case. Hargest’s project demonstrates the importance of engaging racism at all levels because of the way it dehumanizes victim and perpetrator, alike, to the point that neither can consciously acknowledge its effects. As Hargest’s work suggests, the aestheticization and commodification of history have become a means for repressing racism’s causes and effects. When we seek a product such as Privitrol in order to curb our appetite for power, we imply that privilege is our right – our birthright – and that to indulge in moderation causes no harm. Hargest employs a wicked sense of humor to make us question ourselves: can we imagine a world “after whiteness,” and if we can, is it a place where whiteness simply passes for the norm – where we pretend not to notice it – or does it look like some place else? Are we addicted to race and, if so, are we capable of ever making a full recovery?

John P. Bowles teaches art history at Indiana University. This essay originally appeared in the catalog for an earlier version of the show at the Ispace Gallery, Chicago, in October 2003.

N o t e s
[Use Back Button to return to text.]
  1. Adrian Piper, “The Indexical Present: A Conversation with Adrian Piper,” interviewed by Elizabeth Hayt-Atkins, Arts Magazine 65, no. 7 (March 1991): 51.
  2. Ann Gibson, “Avant-Garde,” ed. Robert S. Nelson and Richard Schiff, Critical Terms for Art History, 2nd ed. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2003): 202-216.
  3. Luis Camnitzer, “Wonder Bread and Spanglish Art,” ed. Gerardo Mosquera, Beyond the Fantastic: Contemporary Art Criticism from Latin America (London: The Institute of International Visual Arts, 1996): 154-164.
  4. bell hooks, “Carrie Mae Weems: Diasporic Landscapes of Longing,” ed. Catherine De Zegher, Inside the Visible: An Elliptical Traverse of 20th Century Art, in, of, and from the Feminine (Boston: The Institute of Contemporary Art, 1996): 173-174.
  5. On the ways in which this idea has been expressed in American literature, see Mike Davis, “The Literary Destruction of Los Angeles,” Ecology of Fear: Los Angeles and the Ecology of Disaster (New York: Metropolitan Books, 1998): 273-355.
  6. Ann Eden Gibson, Abstract Expressionism: Other Politics (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1997): xxxii, 10, 35-36, 43, 100, 119, 220 n. 33. A similar argument has been made by Anne Wagner. See Anne Wagner, “Krasner’s Fictions,” Three Artists, Three Women: Modernism and the Art of Hesse, Krasner, and O’Keeffe, Ahmanson-Murphy Fine Arts Imprint (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996): 105-190, 307-315. See also Adrian Piper, “The Logic of Modernism: How Greenberg Stole the Americans Away from a Tradition of Euroethnic Social Content,” Flash Art 168 (January-February 1993): 56-58, 118, 136.
  7. Howardena Pindell, “On Making a Video: Free, White and 21,” The Heart of the Question: The Writings and Paintings of Howardena Pindell (New York: Midmarch Arts Press, 1997): 65-69.
  8. Suk Ja Kang Engles, “After Whiteness: Asian American Women and the American Visual Arts Sphere,” unpublished statement, 2003. Courtesy of the artist.
  9. Kang Engles, “After Whiteness.”
  10. Kang Engles, “After Whiteness.”
  11. Frantz Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks, trans. Charles Lam Markmann (New York: Grove Weidenfeld, 1967): 111-112.
  12. Fanon, 112.
  13. Michael Fried, “Art and Objecthood,” ed. Gregory Battcock, Minimal Art: A Critical Anthology (New York: E. P. Dutton, 1968): 116-147.
  14. Kojo Griffin, Artist’s Statement, 2003. Courtesy of Mitchell Innes-Nash, New York.
  15. Laurie Hogin, “Speakeasy,” New Art Examiner 21, no. 8 (April 1994): 11.
  16. Hélèn Cixous, “Castration or Decapitation?” trans. Annette Kuhn, ed. Russell Ferguson, Martha Gever, Trinh T. Minh-ha, and Cornel West, Out There: Marginalization and Contemporary Cultures (New York: New Museum of Contemporary Art, 1990): 345-356.
  17. Katherine Bartel, Artist’s Statement, 2003. Courtesy of the artist.
  18. Bartel, Artist’s Statement.
  19. Bartel, Artist’s Statement.
  20. Carrie Mae Weems, interviewed by Susan Canning, ed. Glenn Harper, Interviews and Provocations: Conversations on Art, Culture, and Resistance, ed. Henry A. Giroux; Interruptions: Border Testimony(ies) and Critical Discourse/s (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1998): 60.
  21. Joe R. Feagin, “Contemporary Racial Attitudes and Images: White Americans,” Racist America: Roots, Current Realities, and Future Reparations (New York: Routledge, 2000): 105-135.


to gallery | to commentary by Tim Engles

 e-mail the authortop | this issue
past issues | author index | agora home