PRAISE FOR WHITEWALLING: ART, RACE & PROTEST IN 3 ACTS

PHOTO: CONNIE TSANG

PHOTO: CONNIE TSANG

 
 

Holland Cotter Names Whitewalling: Art, Race & Protest in 3 Acts one of the best art books of 2018 in the New York Times

Jennifer Szalai in The New York Times"Whitewalling is a laser beam of a book, unwavering and on target."

Publisher's Weekly: "An impressively nuanced exploration of the relationship between art and race in America....This book could become an essential primer in discussions about exclusion, free speech, and the power of institutions in the art world and outside it."

ArtNews (December 2018) names Whitewalling one of their favorite books of 2018: “Make no mistake: Though Whitewalling is just 147 pages long, it’s something of an epic project that warrants reading for years down the line.” (Alex Greenberger)

Fran Bigman in the Times Literary Supplement (October 2018): Whitewalling makes the convincing case that “unless we can understand the censorial function of curating, all protest will be misrecognized as attempts to quash artistic freedom”.

Nico Wheadon in the Brooklyn Rail (October 2018): “Whitewalling is a strong call to action in which D’Souza summons her many identities—writer, art critic, feminist, educator, museum consultant, and protestor—to encourage those with a vested interest in sustainable culture to fight for social justice. She exposes the power imbalances that hide within the dark corners of our public institutions, and shines a light on those brave citizens tending to the arduous, daily work of dismantling systems of oppression. And despite its somewhat somber conclusions about the depth of white supremacist roots within the field of contemporary art, this book achieves small yet vital victories: it names those historical offenders who institutionalized racist practices without hesitation or consequence and offers a counter narrative to the biased, historical record; it galvanizes a community of practice and articulates a collective language of resistance across disciplines and racial lines; and it de-vilifies black protest by not just depicting us in our rage, but by also seeing and documenting us in our hope.”

Tiana Reid in Garage: "If resistance can be welcomed at all, [D'Souza] is clearly striving to do so."

Harry Burke in ArtReview Asia: "Whitewalling sets a generative precedent."

Casey Beals in Momus: "If there is cause for hope, it inheres in voices... like D’Souza’s, that pierce the smooth functioning of a Liberal rhetoric.

Nico Wheadon in the Brooklyn Rail (August 2018): “The book… poses some difficult questions for all those implicated in producing, consuming, and historicizing art and culture. “How [do we] approach the question of what art institutions hang on their walls without asking about the responsibilities of institutions—all manner of institutions—to make space for everyone, or at least be honest about whom they are built to serve?” And, how do artists “participate fully in the art world even as they challenge its terms?” In D’Souza’s line of questioning, we see how whiteness lives as both a spatial and conceptual bloc around which the other must navigate, and how institutions can reinforce white supremacy by denying their colonial roots and walling off privileged space.”

Bonnie Donohue in Full Stop (February 2019): “Whitewalling: Art, Race & Protest In 3 Acts exposes systems that perpetuate racial oppression in the art world and pricks a bubble of white-centered consciousness with a clear message about complicity. It meticulously paints a 50-year circle addressing race in the white-driven U.S. art world; a circle with a messy interior and a repetitive story of whites, who have held continuous power and privilege in the art world and Blacks, who continue to wrestle with being recognized and understood as art makers and cultural workers, rather than anthropological subjects of white imagination and empathy.”