Difference between revisions of "Open Casket"

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(Created page with "{{Display censorship incident |ongoing=no |year=2017 |region=North America |artist=Dana Schutz, |subject=Political/Economic/Social Opinion |confronting_bodies=General Public |...")
 
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|date_of_action=March 2017
 
|date_of_action=March 2017
 
|location=The Whitney Museum, New York City
 
|location=The Whitney Museum, New York City
|description_of_content="Open Casket," a piece within the Biennial exhibition by Dana Schutz was created in response to many incidents of racially charged police brutality. The painting was inspired by a 62-year old photograph of Emmett Till's tortured body lying disfigured in his casket "for all the world to see." In the painting, Till's face is represented through abstraction.
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|description_of_content="Open Casket" is a painting by American artist Dana Schutz based on a famous photograph that is said to have sparked the Civil Rights Movement. The photograph is of the open casket of Emmett Till at his funeral after he was murdered, and shows his disfigured face. The painting is in keeping with Schutz's signature style of the grotesque, but is unusual for its overt political content and the clear correlation to an iconic source image.
|description_of_incident=The abstracted nature of Till's face sparked anger as well as caused requests for its removal. Many consider Emmett Till to be sacred historical heritage of Black people and considered Schutz's representation to be cultural appropriation.
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|description_of_result=The Whitney museum has responded to the controversy by respecting the ongoing protests, but have continued to support the artist and her work. The museum refused to take down the painting, and instead, created a larger discourse around the issue.
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Emmett Till (July 25, 1941 – August 28, 1955) was a 14-year-old African American boy who, while visiting with family in Mississippi, was brutally lynched after he was accused of offending a white woman in her family's grocery store. Till's body was returned to Chicago where his mother insisted on a public funeral service with an open casket.
|image=Screen Shot 2017-06-12 at 1.01.54 PM.png
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The brutality of his murder and the fact that his killers were acquitted drew attention to the long history of violent persecution of African Americans in the US.
 +
|description_of_incident=The painting was included in the Whitney Museum of American Art's 2017 Biennial exhibition in New York City. The controversy was sparked shortly after the exhibition opened to the public, when artist Hannah Black wrote a blog post calling not only for the painting's removal but also its destruction so that no one would ever be able to make money from it again. Performance artist Parker Bright staged a daily protest in front of the painting blocking its view while wearing a t-shirt with the words BLACK DEATH SPECTACLE on the back. More protests ensued.
 +
 
 +
The controversy was heavily covered in both the art press and major news platforms, with well-developed arguments coming from all sides (some of which has been excerpted hre: http://ncac.org/blog/your-primer-on-the-whitney-biennial-controversy-a-timely-and-necessary-exchange)
 +
 
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Many consider Emmett Till to be part of the sacred historical heritage of African Americans and this particular photograph of his corpse to be iconic, and therefore off limits. Hence, Schutz's representation of it in a painting was felt to be a particularly egregious act of the ongoing phenomenon of white cultural appropriation of black trauma "for fun an profit" (cf: Hannah Black).
 +
 
 +
In interviews, Schutz said she was moved to create this painting in response to the many recent incidents of racially charged police brutality, and as a mother, in hope of eliciting empathy.
 +
|description_of_result=The Whitney responded to the controversy by respecting the ongoing protests. However, it supported the artist and protected her work, refusing to take down the painting. Instead, the museum nurtured the broad discourse that developed around the controversy, including a well-attended panel on the subject.
 +
|image=Schutz painting protest.png
 
}}
 
}}
 
[http://ncac.org/blog/your-primer-on-the-whitney-biennial-controversy-a-timely-and-necessary-exchange NCAC’s Primer On The Whitney Biennial Controversy: A Timely and Necessary Exchange]  
 
[http://ncac.org/blog/your-primer-on-the-whitney-biennial-controversy-a-timely-and-necessary-exchange NCAC’s Primer On The Whitney Biennial Controversy: A Timely and Necessary Exchange]  
  
 
[http://whitney.org/Exhibitions/2017Biennial Whitney Museum]
 
[http://whitney.org/Exhibitions/2017Biennial Whitney Museum]
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 +
AFTER “OPEN CASKET”: WHAT EMMETT TILL TEACHES US TODAY
 +
"To stand before Till’s casket was an emotional experience. It also brought some retrospective clarity to the biggest art controversy of 2017."
 +
by SIDDHARTHA MITTER
 +
MARCH 12, 2018
 +
https://www.villagevoice.com/2018/03/12/after-open-casket-what-emmett-till-teaches-us-today/

Revision as of 10:01, 5 September 2018


Schutz painting protest.png

Artist: Dana Schutz

Year: 2017

Date of Action: March 2017

Region: North America

Location: The Whitney Museum, New York City

Subject: Political/Economic/Social Opinion

Medium: Painting

Confronting Bodies: General Public

Description of Artwork: "Open Casket" is a painting by American artist Dana Schutz based on a famous photograph that is said to have sparked the Civil Rights Movement. The photograph is of the open casket of Emmett Till at his funeral after he was murdered, and shows his disfigured face. The painting is in keeping with Schutz's signature style of the grotesque, but is unusual for its overt political content and the clear correlation to an iconic source image.

Emmett Till (July 25, 1941 – August 28, 1955) was a 14-year-old African American boy who, while visiting with family in Mississippi, was brutally lynched after he was accused of offending a white woman in her family's grocery store. Till's body was returned to Chicago where his mother insisted on a public funeral service with an open casket.

The brutality of his murder and the fact that his killers were acquitted drew attention to the long history of violent persecution of African Americans in the US.

The Incident: The painting was included in the Whitney Museum of American Art's 2017 Biennial exhibition in New York City. The controversy was sparked shortly after the exhibition opened to the public, when artist Hannah Black wrote a blog post calling not only for the painting's removal but also its destruction so that no one would ever be able to make money from it again. Performance artist Parker Bright staged a daily protest in front of the painting blocking its view while wearing a t-shirt with the words BLACK DEATH SPECTACLE on the back. More protests ensued.

The controversy was heavily covered in both the art press and major news platforms, with well-developed arguments coming from all sides (some of which has been excerpted hre: http://ncac.org/blog/your-primer-on-the-whitney-biennial-controversy-a-timely-and-necessary-exchange)

Many consider Emmett Till to be part of the sacred historical heritage of African Americans and this particular photograph of his corpse to be iconic, and therefore off limits. Hence, Schutz's representation of it in a painting was felt to be a particularly egregious act of the ongoing phenomenon of white cultural appropriation of black trauma "for fun an profit" (cf: Hannah Black).

In interviews, Schutz said she was moved to create this painting in response to the many recent incidents of racially charged police brutality, and as a mother, in hope of eliciting empathy.

Results of Incident: The Whitney responded to the controversy by respecting the ongoing protests. However, it supported the artist and protected her work, refusing to take down the painting. Instead, the museum nurtured the broad discourse that developed around the controversy, including a well-attended panel on the subject.

Source:


NCAC’s Primer On The Whitney Biennial Controversy: A Timely and Necessary Exchange

Whitney Museum

AFTER “OPEN CASKET”: WHAT EMMETT TILL TEACHES US TODAY "To stand before Till’s casket was an emotional experience. It also brought some retrospective clarity to the biggest art controversy of 2017." by SIDDHARTHA MITTER MARCH 12, 2018 https://www.villagevoice.com/2018/03/12/after-open-casket-what-emmett-till-teaches-us-today/