Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Art or Racial Supremacy?

Every now and then someone does something that embodies all the elements of being an imbissle, and then some. They do something so racist, offensive, insensitive, stupid, insulting, and in such bad taste that it defies all logic, an then they allow themselves to be photographed while doing so.

Surprisingly, or maybe not so surprisingly on the day the country was reflecting on The Reverand Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., an online magazine chose to publish an article with a photo of a Russian socialite sitting on a chair. But not just any chair. This particular chair was made from the figure of a Black woman dressed in bondage. Many who viewed the photograph felt it was a definite racist representation of White superiority. Including me. The Black woman depicted as an inanimate object used to service the White dominant female is unarguably demeaning, disgraceful and reminiscent of the degradation Black women have endured over decades.

The photo sparked heated online backlash before it was replaced with a cropped version, where only the legs are visible. The photo was also removed from Instagram as well, following a slew of complaints from the masses.

The White woman sitting on the Black woman chair is Russian socialite and editor–in-chief of Garage Magazine,Dasha Zhukova. The realistic-looking Black woman is actually a mannequin. It is half nude, except for black panties, a garter belt, elbow-length black gloves and knee-high boots. Her folded knees are pushing her naked breasts against her body.

Zhukova, on the other hand, sits perched atop the Black woman dressed in a white top and jeans, as she blankly stares into the camera. Her gaze no doubt reflecting the emptiness in her head.

But unfortunately, not everyone sees this “work of art” as racist. Zhukova, who claims she “abhors racism,” defends the photograph. “This photograph, which has been published completely out of context, is of an artwork intended specifically as a commentary on gender and racial politics,” she said. “I utterly abhor racism, and would like to apologize to anyone who has been offended by this image.”
While it is entirely possible that Zhukova is oblivious, totally naive', has been living under a rock or in a bubble. It is highly unlikely that everyone around her is or has been. So these people decided to roll the dice to see if they could get away with it, and failed. The fact is, even if this "chair" wasn't considered offensive, racist, or misogynistic it would still be extremely tacky and CREEPY.


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