Art World, Real World

Lex, I think you’re cutting right to the point in your conclusion:

“This reality check perspective deals with a more nuanced history of class and racial interaction: one in which the real and imaginary ‘black spirit’ and its social magic has a measurable value that is called upon by ‘white seekers of knowledge’ (not unproblematically).”

I think that the racial divide and white privilege is often the subtext of the “class” argument. It’s such an explosive topic that I don’t think anybody wants to address it directly for fear of being implicated, and I feel uncomfortable even making that statement.

I also think Rocío’s definition of “visibility” is another root issue that might have given some people a knee-jerk reaction–it’s surprising that, based on her conversations, this seemed like a relatively unknown project outside of the art world. What’s art world validation actually worth?

The project clearly served a beautiful purpose for a small Bronx community and started critical debates for the international art world, but there’s a big gap in between. It’s not a flaw of the project, just a question of how art can fit better in the real world.

Running Event: "Fosta, From Us to All," at Gramsci Monument, Forest Houses, Bronx, NY, 2013. Photo by Romain Lopez, courtesy Dia Art Foundation.

Running Event: “Fosta, From Us to All,” at Gramsci Monument, Forest Houses, Bronx, NY, 2013. Photo by Romain Lopez, courtesy Dia Art Foundation.


We welcome your comments! Please feel free to use the comment box at the bottom of the page to join in the discussion.

Growing Dialogue is a series of moderated online debates among thought leaders in social practice.

See more articles tagged:  
Gramsci MonumentThomas HirschhornWhitney Kimball

By Whitney Kimball
More Articles Like This One
  • Parting thoughts on Gramsci Monument
  • In search of the authentic
  • Give-and-takes from Gramsci Monument