Diversity and Thought: Not Racist, Artist Statement by LVF.LVX
The purpose of ‘Diversity and Thought’ is to encourage inquiry and critical thinking. The individuals pictured have suffered some sort of physical or verbal attack, emotional abuse, and/or discrimination for not just how they vote, but for believing in a message that infuriates many— “Make America Great Again.”
My graduate program at Brandeis University was, to say the least, life changing. I was ostracized by my peers for not agreeing with them politically 100%, (and that’s that I voted for Bernie Sanders in the 2016 Primaries). With an invitation to discuss the candidates with the Director of my program, I watched him bawl uncontrollably at the thought of Donald Trump winning the elections. It was a revelation of sorts. The rhetoric was strong and influential. If he’d win— ‘it’d be the end of a free society and our nation would become a dictatorship ruled by white supremacy.’
This was and continues to be a powerful rhetoric. Many would argue that the President’s comments and actions have strong implications of racism. Maybe.
But this piece isn’t about Trump or politics. It is about inadvertent racism, politically charged discrimination, and a new kind of bigotry. It is about accountability. See, it’s easy to judge and label a white skinned person who wears a MAGA hat as an ‘underlying racist,’ as our universities and media encourage. But what about the Black American who wears a MAGA hat? The Latino? The ‘mixed race’ New Yorker? The problem seems to be that certain individuals want to abolish racism so much that their fears unintentionally produce it. Paulo Freire mentioned something along these lines... As a result, the term ‘coexistence’ has taken on a completely new, but troubling meaning— “one can only coexist if he or she thinks like ‘us’, believes like ‘us’, votes like ‘us’”
But this is not coexistence.
As a society, we have come a long way in learning to accept those who are different than us, so how are attacks against persons who believe in something different (regardless of their ethnicity, race, sex, and religion) justified?
I invite you to look closely and really ask yourself “are these actions warranted?”
“Is this coexistence?”
Written by Jacob Schik, The Heights
Carney’s 203 Gallery hosted the Multiformity Exhibit last week, showcasing the interplay between culture and societal ideology. This exhibit featured the work of local artists, including Ruth Belmont; Zhanna Cantor; Rocky Cotard; Brian Hoffman; Darren M. Lerhily, associate director of Boston College Media Technology Services; LVF.LVX; Jessica Tranvo; Kim Triedman; and Celine Lim, photo editor for The Heights and MCAS ’20.
Covering three walls of the gallery, these multi-medium pieces work at once to lift up minority culture and take a closer look at the political climate of today.
On one wall, three large fabrics painted with acrylics draw the eye with striking colors and imagery. Cotard’s pieces, “Yvrose, Know Your History Portrait V,” “Ketty, Know Your History Portrait IV, and Nahomie Know Your History Portrait III” depict three black women dressed in colorful pattern. The faces—the focal point of each piece—are both lifelike and statuesque, creating a reposed movement that is very emotionally affecting for the viewer.
Hoffman’s digital prints occupy another part of one wall. His three pieces, “Age of Trumparius No. 4,” “Patriotic Baby,” and “Passage to Abyssinia” critique the current political climate. In these prints, Hoffman contrasts the innocence of children or the culture of the Middle East with the distorted claim to patriotism and isolationism...
One of the most striking pieces in the gallery is LVF.LVX’s “Diversity and Thought.” A number of prints displaying slightly obscured pictures of men wearing red “Make America Great Again” hats are enclosed behind a glass pane. Painted on the glass across the pictures are the words “Not Racist” in black capital letters. This piece, according to the artist, is meant to “encourage inquiry and critical thinking.” The men pictured have all suffered from “some sort of physical or verbal attack, emotional abuse” not just for “how they vote, but for believing in a message that infuriated many.” The artist claims that these attacks based on ideology...is not coexistence. Whether the people pictured here are racist or not is not up to her to decide. The artist instead asks, “Are these actions warranted?”
Cantor’s work in digital prints, including “The Wonder in Her Eyes” and “Almond Eyes” is designed to elucidate the differences between people of varying culture. Someone who is from a European culture might not be able to readily identify with the black women depicted here. Yet, through art like this, Cantor and the viewer can remember that “each individual deserves to be seen and heard as grouping often promotes prejudice.”
Friday February 2, 2019 at Gallery 201 in Boston College
6:00pm - 9:00pm
MULTIFORMITY, an exhibition that explores and challenges the commonalities and differences in cultural diversity and the ideologies that build a "freer society."
ART IN SUBURBIA’S L. Victoria Ferrer curates the space with an objective eye, highlighting the interactions between diverse cultures and socio-political world views, putting into consideration the relationship between multiculturalism and its impact on local culture.