Show Statement There are emotional attachments to benefiting from racial privilege and this show asked artists to contemplate what those benefits are personally. Stepping into the dominant racial narrative is a script available to most Americans, but in no way is it equal. The show is not a celebration of whiteness; instead it’s asking what are the opportunity costs attached to capitalizing on dominance. Anger, amusement, hope, confusion, shame, envy, and maybe even pride play a role when we are able to take advantage in ways not always available to everyone equally. A thorough examination of how we personally benefit when we step into narratives of privilege is necessary if we want to create new scripts in how we navigate racially. Scarily, this means we have to sometimes stop congratulating ourselves and get a bit more introspective.
White Pride? is a 2 month group show with 14 artists participating, 7 in December for part 1 and 7 in January for part 2.
Statement My work is made up of building materials and discreet gestures that are intended to shift conventional notions of material and dimension. The materials I use are a combination of found, discarded, repurposed, and commercially available objects and construction materials. The use of these materials is intended to recontextualize objects typically seen within the everyday and to draw attention to everyday experiences both in the gallery and outside of it. I am interested in the familiarity of these materials to provide additional entry points for viewers. The materials position the viewer to reevaluate preconceived notions of art materials as well as the sites for art.
Bio Jodie Cavalier is an artist and curator. She has an MFA in Visual Studies from Paciﬁc Northwest College of Art in Portland, Oregon and a BA in Art Practice from the University of California, Berkeley. She recently was selected by the Regional Arts & Culture Council to install a public work in the the Portland Building in downtown Portland, Oregon.
Tim Combs The Krispie Body
Statement For White Pride? I looked at how race and its impact on my identity take on a geographic character. Questions and accusations about my multiracial identities are common and consistent in my life. I've been thought Puerto Rican in the Sun Belt, Polynesian in the UP, Caribbean in Peru, Palestinian by Lebanese in London, Black most places and Caucasian more places than you would think. I've been asked enough times on enough forms for my racial designation and find it interesting how agencies add and drop them and now seem open to self-selection of any and all from a wider range than in the recent past.
Race is an amalgam, a fictive arbitrariness made of everyone and connected by the sticky white goo of daily interaction that constantly makes us aware of and held in our place. Yet the simple mechanism of race interactions gives me the privilege to pick and choose whichever racial identity affords me the best opportunity in any given locale.
The Krispie Body is a landscape, a continental amalgam of puffed rice held together by the sticky whiteness of marshmallows and white cream butter. Common ingredients heavily processed to become even more white, more pure. This is us, all stuck together by white culture. Race interactions clarify our positions by affirming our status, thus, our level of privilege. A known other is to have territory clearly marked on the body politic.
I ask you to participate by marking the landscape of The Krispie Body. Simply write any or all of your racial designations on one flag or many and mark each flag with your fingerprint, a unique non-racial designation. Place the flag in the territory you find most fit.
Bio Tim Combs is a contemporary artist based in Portland, Oregon. He spends his time having conversations about the mechanisms and necessities of social construction, facilitating creative reclamation through community organizing and non-profit work and teaching the communicative aspects of art.
(maría)petra fortes-schramm Little White Truths
Looping Animation Varies 2013
Statement There are things to which I’d rather not admit—thoughts and actions, when examined, reveal that I play an active role in enabling and enforcing white supremacy.
Bio (maría)petra is a brown, almost-any-media artist who goes by “Petra” and prefers gender neutral pronouns. Petra is originally from the Salinas Valley & Monterey Bay in California, and now works & resides in Portland. Petra holds a BA in Music from Bethany College, a BFA in Intermedia from the Pacific Northwest College of Art, and is currently an MA candidate at Reed College. mariapetra.com
Gia Goodrich Passe
Statement In Passe, I was interested in exploring the transformative power of hair. Specifically, I wanted to look at its ability to frame a person within a given ethnicity. For the work, I decided to present my private ritual of flat ironing, which allows me to move through the world with less focus on my exotic features and ethnic heritage by temporarily removing my curls. By ‘passing’ for a less ethnically conspicuous person, I imagine that I become a participant in the euro-centric standard of beauty that excludes people like me. But then again, what’s wrong with doing what it takes to get ahead?
Bio Gia Goodrich is a multi-disciplinary artist living in Portland, Oregon. Her work explores the intersections of gender, sexual and racial identities. She has an MFA in Visual Studies from the Pacific Northwest College of Art. She likes coffee and pushing people’s buttons.
Julie Perini White Lady Diaries
SD video 5 minutes 2013
White Lady Diaries brings together my research into critical race theory, racial identity, and white privilege with my daily practice of making Minute Movies about my own life. This is a very exciting step for me! I am looking forward to spending the coming year, or longer, growing and developing the White Lady Diaries into a series.
Mylar, vinyl, cloth, metal armature, fan 55x40x75˝ 2013
Statement White privilege consists of unspoken advantages that white people may or may not know they have. An unspoken privilege of mine is that my complexion fits into the mainstream American ideal of beauty, which is almost exclusively white. Cosmetics companies, including L’Oreal Paris, have on more than one occasion purposefully lightened the hair and skin color of non-white celebrities featured in their advertising to fit into this unrealistic standard of beauty. In this piece, PEVA Vinyl and metallic Mylar have been sewn and manipulated together to form a larger-than-life sized inflatable makeup compact, complete with “Neutral Beige” powder foundation makeup.
Makeup For a More Perfectious You examines fitting into the prized white mold of beauty, and the enormity, insidiousness, and ridiculousness of its constraints.
Bio Portia Roy was born in Augusta, Georgia, and grew up in San Antonio, Texas. In 2011 she received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Intermedia with a focus on sculpture and animation at Pacific Northwest College of Art. Her current body of work explores and complicates the relationships between concepts of comfort and discomfort, the decorative and the grotesque. Roy resides in Portland, Oregon.
Sandy Sampson Laugh Track
Statement I don’t know about you but I came up thinking that when people were talking with me, they were talking with me. In the 1970s I learned that people didn’t always hear what I was saying because it came through a loud filter of “young woman speaking”. I am just beginning to understand now that I was also given more attention because I was a young (white) woman. That attention was a platform available to me and had I been more aware I might have put it to good use one way or another. However because access to that attention saturated my experience, it was invisible to me. As John Lennon said “you don’t know what you’ve got, until you lose it”. At 53 I’m not unhappy about losing that attention (there are benefits); rather I am perplexed that I didn’t see it, and sorry that I can’t claim my failure to exploit it as an intentional refusal.
I find myself presently in the midst of an awkward phase. What am I supposed to do now that I present as a middle aged white woman? What am I missing now that is analogous to what I didn’t see when I was younger? Can I do better this time? I am at the tail end of a generation, place and time, which was the last (I hope) to teach girls that the path to success was to package (merchandise) themselves well, in order to be selected by a man with status (money) and power (control of money). In a culture that fetishizes possessions as a reflection of status, it seems natural to discard old merchandise for a newer model when ever possible, and as Henry Kissinger said in 1973, “Power is the ultimate aphrodisiac.” I have obviously failed by the terms of my own generation, both as a self-merchandiser, and as conscious agent of change. Yet even as I want to “do better this time”, I persist in feeling like I am me, and I continue to have difficulty seeing myself as part of a demographic within a larger context. This last sentence speaks volumes.
One privilege I enjoy as a white woman comes from my unthreatening demeanor. It is because of my face that strangers will talk with me. I believe if my face were male, I would not have this privilege, I believe if it were female but a different color my experience would be less consistent, I can’t know for sure. I feel my apparent harmlessness (now augmented by an intermittent cloak of invisibility) is one of the most valuable assets/privileges I have. I wonder if I’ve prioritized my values based on their alignment with an internalized scope of potential and limitation? Would easy conversation with strangers remain a privilege I value highly if I felt every privilege was equally available to me?