“The problem is not that these critics lack some essential connection with the work of artists of color,” the art critic Aruna D’Souza said in an interview. “It’s that many of them simply are not familiar with the intellectual, conceptual and artistic ideas that underlie the work.”
The best of times, the worst of times: art in the age of rising white supremacy
It is the best of times and it is the worst of times. A time in which the “whitelash” to multiculturalism is becoming increasingly violent. But also a period in which art and culture present a more inclusive alternative to the executive orders emerging from the White House.
“As long as culture keeps producing these moments, where actual debate can happen without devolving, it becomes a sort of proxy,” says art critic Aruna D’Souza, author of “Whitewalling: Art, Race, & Protest in 3 Acts.” “Those conversations become proxies for conversations we can’t have elsewhere.”
Review: A.I.R. Gallery Catches Up on Some Unfinished Business
As Ms. D’Souza points out in an accompanying publication, “Dialectics of Isolation” was purposefully heterogeneous, a celebration of difference. This gave it a dynamism that carries through into the present, prompting the viewer to seek out connections among the artworks.
Photo: Janet Henry, “The Studio Visit” (1982) in the show “Dialectics of Entanglement: Do We Exist Together?” at A.I.R. Gallery
At The Worcester Art Museum, New Signs Tell Visitors Which Early American Subjects Benefited From Slavery
“It's a problem with how we teach and practice art history — that we want to carve out that space of art as a sort of autonomous realm," said Aruna D'Souza, author of "Whitewalling: Art, Race and Protest in 3 Acts."
"There can be no fiction of the autonomous realm anymore. We have to see everything we're doing as part of this vast structure that upholds a continuing oppression of Black people and people of color," D'Souza added.