Blog Post 4.5: Passages for Friday’s Class

Here’s a thread for Friday’s material (Kunzru, the 3 articles on Schutz, and the two videos). By class time Friday, you should post in this thread a passage (roughly 2-4 sentences) from one of these sources that you find particularly interesting, surprising, inspiring, problematic, or otherwise significant (meme formats are welcome but not required). Remember to cite the page number for your passage.

23 thoughts on “Blog Post 4.5: Passages for Friday’s Class”

  1. “It was clearly at least partly based on the conversation I’d had the day before. His roommate claimed… according to his producing partner… It was picture-bylined Lewis Carolle, who seemed to be a preppy young black guy in tortoiseshell glasses and a bow tie. A gossip columnist. I’d been so stupid.” (page 105)

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  2. Emmett Till’s name has circulated widely since his death. It has come to stand not only for Till himself but also for the mournability (to each other, if not to everyone) of people marked as disposable, for the weight so often given to a white woman’s word above a Black child’s comfort or survival, and for the injustice of anti-Black legal systems… Non-Black people must accept that they will never embody and cannot understand this gesture: The evidence of their collective lack of understanding is that Black people go on dying at the hands of white supremacists, that Black communities go on living in desperate poverty not far from the museum where this valuable painting hangs, that Black children are still denied childhood” (Black 3).

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  3. “Translation assumes that there is a prior state – whether it’s a text, or a prior historical moment, or a prior identity, there is something anterior to that which becomes translated. Unlike appropriation, translation is a relationship that does not immediately give a default value to some kind of original; the anterior is not seen as the “appropriate” or “original” text” (Roundtable, Asega et. al 268).

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  4. “Although Schutz’s intention may be to present white shame, this shame is not correctly represented as a painting of a dead Black boy by a white artist – those non-Black artists who sincerely wish to highlight the shameful nature of white violence should first of all stop treating Black pain as raw material. The subject matter is not Schutz’s; white free speech and white creative freedom have been founded on the constraint of others, and are not natural rights.” (Munoz-Alonzo 3).

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  5. ‘It’s not acceptable for a white person to transmute Black suffering not profit and fun’ (Black, 3)
    “To me appropriation is a word that still has value and seems useful…that word was so useful for us in explaining our motivations, because we were describing a sort of erasure that happened because of a particular power structure” (Roundtable, Asega et. al 268).

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  6. “I had the same reduced geography as all my friends. Hunts Point was entirely off our map. It was as if Carter had chosen it deliberately for its remoteness from out white world, a way to force a confrontation” (p. 100)

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  7. “Yes, for many reasons. The anger surrounding this painting is real and I understand that. It’s a problematic painting and I knew that getting into it. I do think that it is better to try to engage something extremely uncomfortable, maybe impossible, and fail, than to not respond at all.” (Dana Schutz Responds to Whitney Biennial Controversy)

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  8. From: Dana Schultz’s painting of Emmett Till at Whitney Memorial Biennial Sparks Protests by Lorena Munoz-Alosono:
    The letter has been signed by over 30 people , although the initial iteration published yesterday on Facebook (Facebook link) included more signatories of all colors. However, a few hours after publishing, , Black updated her original post, saying: “In response to some helpful criticism, I’m now only including Black co-signs. Non-Black people super very welcome to help out in other ways.”
    From: Social Media Erupts as the Art World Splits in Two Over Dana Schultz Controversy by Brian Boucher:
    Writer Hannah Black would follow up with an open letter, posted on Facebook (same Facebook link) but since removed, calling for the painting’s removal and destruction.

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  9. “I don’t think Chester meant a word of it. No one could have loved that music so much and harbored a speck of racial prejudice. All the same I felt ashamed. It seemed wrong to have said what he said. For a moment I wished I really had driven along those bumpy roads to register people to vote, to tell them they ought to be free. Then Chester said something about a barrelhouse pianist I was interested in, name of Cow Cow Davenport, and the feeling slipped away” (Kunzru 156).

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  10. “The painting is very different from the photograph. I could never render the photograph ethically or emotionally”
    “I don’t know if there would be a way to address the subject without some way of approaching it on a personal level” (Boucher, 2).

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  11. “Lucian is cool but Lucian don’t write
    Doug ain’t this tight, so
    Fuck what we sellin’
    Fuck is we makin’?
    ‘Cause their grass is greener
    ‘Cause they always rakin’ in mo'” (“Moonlight”, Jay-Z)

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  12. “At night I would play my music, the few ‘good’ records I had… they seemed like minor pieces of a much larger puzzle.” (Kunzru 134-135)

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  13. “The subject matter is not Schutz’s; white free speech and white creative freedom have been founded on the constraint of others, and are not natural rights.” (Art World 3/16)

    “‘That doesn’t make them like you any better. It’s theirs. They’d rather you left it to them. Even if you did something, I don’t know, really selfless. Black lives matter or whatever. They still wouldn’t like you.'” (Kunzru, 152-153)

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  14. “I truly believe that while she may have felt a particular level of empathy as she declares, it was lost when true engagement with the subject was required. This was most likely from fear, broached by thick brushstrokes.” — Boucher, “Dana Schutz Responds to the Uproar Over Her Emmett Till Painting at the Whitney Biennial.”

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  15. I am unable to separate one thing from another. It all comes at me in a swirl, a storm. The casual way he says that Carter will never wake up. The knowledge that I have nothing, that at a stroke he has taken it all from me. The way he can tell me all this in his unreachable, impermeable voice.
    110

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  16. “Some claim an artist’s right to depict any subject they choose, and rail against what they call censorship; others point out that white privilege and the appropriation od black experience is as old as America itself, and inherently pernicious” (Social Media Erupts as the Art World Splits in Two Over Dana Schutz Controversy).

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  17. There are two parts that really struck me:

    “The painting should not be acceptable to anyone who cares or pretends to care about Black people because it is not acceptable for a white person to transmute Black suffering into profit and fun, though the practice has been normalized for a long time” – Hannah Black “Painting of Emmett Till at Whitney Biennial Sparks Protest”

    “Although derided by many white and white-affiliated critics as trivial and naive, discussions of appropriation and representation go to the heart of the question of how we might seek to live in a reparative mode, with humility, clarity, humor, and hope, given the barbaric realities of racial and gendered violence on which our lives are founded. I see no more important foundational consideration for art than this question, which otherwise dissolves into empty formalism or irony, into a pastime or a therapy.” – Hannah Black “Painting of Emmett Till at Whitney Biennial Sparks Protest”

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  18. There are two parts that really struck me:

    “The painting should not be acceptable to anyone who cares or pretends to care about Black people because it is not acceptable for a white person to transmute Black suffering into profit and fun, though the practice has been normalized for a long time” – Hannah Black “Painting of Emmett Till at Whitney Biennial Sparks Protest”

    “Although derided by many white and white-affiliated critics as trivial and naive, discussions of appropriation and representation go to the heart of the question of how we might seek to live in a reparative mode, with humility, clarity, humor, and hope, given the barbaric realities of racial and gendered violence on which our lives are founded. I see no more important foundational consideration for art than this question, which otherwise dissolves into empty formalism or irony, into a pastime or a therapy.” – Hannah Black “Painting of Emmett Till at Whitney Biennial Sparks Protest”

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  19. “‘That doesn’t make them like you any better. It’s theirs. They’d rather you left it to them. Even if you did something, I don’t know, really selfless. Black lives matter or whatever. They still wouldn’t like you.’” (White Tears 152)

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