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Where to begin with such a passage? Do we criticize the comparison of the indigenous inhabitants of Australia with dinosaurs? The callous description of a community that doesn’t fit the “Western” beauty aesthetic? Honestly, there’s no good place, but the reality is that this passage in Marina Abramović’s upcoming 384-page memoir, titled Walk Through Walls and to be published by Crown Archetype, is a mess. Considering she already combats an image of aloof elitist, I can’t imagine someone didn’t let the artist know that this passage should probably be cut.
I reached out to the publisher for a review copy (in order to verify this passage) but have not heard back. From what I can tell, the artist may be present but definitely requires a better editor — and a better understanding of global cultures.
Abramović responded on Facebook to the uproar:
I have the greatest respect for Aborigine people, to whom I owe everything. The time I spent with members of the Pijantjatjara and Pintupi tribes in Australia was a transformative experience for me, and one that has deeply and indelibly informed my entire life and art. The description contained in an early, uncorrected proof of my forthcoming book is taken from my diaries and reflect my initial reaction to these people when I encountered them for the very first time way back in 1979. It does not represent the understanding and appreciation of Aborigines that I subsequently acquired through immersion in their world and carry in my heart today.
Blame the diaries. Good one. I’m going to assume this might be cut in the final draft. And as you can imagine, there are many indigenous Australians, like Nayuka Gorrie, who are not amused, and #TheRacistIsPresent is now popping up all over social media:
— Nayuka Gorrie (@NayukaGorrie) August 16, 2016
“Black infants in America are now more than twice as likely to die as white infants—11.3 per 1,000 black babies, compared with 4.9 per 1,000 white babies, according to the most recent government data—a racial disparity that is actually wider than in 1850, 15 years before the end of slavery, when most black women were…
In 1850, when Dr. Robert W. Gibbes commissioned J. T. Zealy to make daguerreotypes of persons held in slavery in and around Columbia, South Carolina, for Harvard Professor Louis Agassiz to use in support of his theory that African people were a separate species, daguerreotypes were at the height of fashion.
The show, which honors the 50th anniversary of an exhibition history once ignored, continues a series of projects documenting Wilmington’s contemporary art scene.
he ownership of images has a long and nuanced legal history, which has evolved dramatically in recent years as cultural standards and photographic technologies have rapidly advanced
Renty and his daughter Delia. Renty was an enslaved African, kidnapped from the Congo, sold and forced into slave labor on the South Carolina plantation of B.F. Taylor
Two K-12 art teachers will each receive a $1,000 cash gift and an additional $500 to put toward classroom art supplies. Nominations are due October 31.
As a scholar of African American history and photography whose work has focused on the status of violent images in museums and archives, I fully support the validity of Ms. Tamara Lanier’s claim and the amicus brief.
The daguerreotypes of Renty Taylor, Delia, Drana, Alfred, Jack, George Fassena, and Jem remained in an unused storage cabinet until 1975, when it was discovered by an employee of the Peabody Museum.
I am writing in support of the amicus curiae brief submitted by Professor Ariella Aïsha Azoulay of Brown University for the full restitution of the daguerreotypes of Renty Taylor and his daughter Delia, currently held by Harvard University, to their familial descendant, Tamara Lanier.