Sirwin
Sirwin

WHY MARC QUINN'S BLM STATUE SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN MADE BY HIM IN THE FIRST PLACE; Racism within the arts AND within the struggle 🖤

By (S)llew la Wulf | Llewella_la_femme | 19 Jul 2020


9a9b989edfcedb66640554824e00e69b20264bbfdca4377561002363aae31bcb.jpeg

I have spent the last few days reading a whole variety of perspectives about the Marc Quinn BLM statue. Perspectives ranging from BLM supporters, activists enraged that it was taken down, because of what it (as a symbol in itself represents), to white racists coming out with comments such as 'paint it white', "hang it from a tree', 'drown the whore', as seen here, taken from a private group onton Facebook that an account I follow on Instagram has infiltrated;

c374b0fc794cbb407007e13ddee151456d6f03a1da1bc6ae3b5ea668fcb7918a.jpeg

 

To the more nuanced but for me, more resonant perspective that how and who that statue was made by, unfortunately ties into themes of not only racism but also misogyny.

I felt...oddly uncomfortable when I found out that the artist who made the statue was a white man. I kept that to myself because, I'm often accused, silently, of being anti white, of not being happy enough with the efforts of whiteallies, of having a chip on my shoulder and causing problems with the aggressivness of my perspective. I could not adequately put into words why this bothered me so much until I read an amazing post by @thewhitepube on Instagram. In it, they discuss the reality of what it means for a white man to take, yes take, ownership of such a huge symbol of black power and pride. Of course, as a symbol it was powerful and amazing but the reality is that we live in a world where black people, in all spheres are either unrepresented or under funded. Including within the arts. Would it not have made more sense, thematically, to have commissioned or supported a black artist to do this, to do something like this. Yes, white people, white allies, have a responsibility to not keep putting themselves in the position of the great white benefactor. To not engage in kudos seeking endeavours. To GIVE UP some of their entitlement and MAKE ROOM for blackness, as a way to address issues of inequality. For a white artist to have done this showed a lack of proper understanding of the issues underpinning BLM. Seemingly I'm not the only person who shared this feeling.

I then went on to find out that this white, male, privileged artist was also at the centre of some debate with his black ex girlfriend (@bastet1989i please read her take on this and check out her art). He had made some statues of her, nude ones, whilst they were together which he seemingly refuses to show her, give her access to. She accuses him of objectifying and dehumanising her within their relationship and through this contestation. Furthermore, it is her understanding and belief that he (Marc Quinn) is, and I quote, "an oppressor and his medium is performative activism"...

Deep, I know, but in my mind it tallies up with my feelings of discomfort about him, as a white male (privileged, entitled) artist making a sculpture of this level of significance, ultimately positing himself at the centre of a debate that is not for him to be central in.

I have mentioned in other posts of mine, issues I had with an ex who I found out had issues with fairly ingrained racism. How I felt fetishised by him, because when someone who is white and not fully aware and cognizant of how racism works and what their role is in combating it, is not fully capable of introspection, engages in a relationship with a POC, then what else can that love be boiled down to? In some ways I relate so much to how Jenny Bastet feels with what she has gone through with Marc Quinn, as I know many women of colour will. Because it is such a horrible feeling, when you live in a world that dehumanises, fetishises and objectifies you because you are of colour and female, to then have to experience that in an intimate relationship too. It makes you feel so cold inside and massively messes with your head.

Do I think the statue of Jen Reid should have been taken down? Yes, but not for the reasons it was. I think Marc Quinn should have used his position to platform a black artist to do the same if BLM actually means anything to him, other than a chance to make himself central.

As for all of those white lives matter racist, ignorant folk out there, well, all I can say is, your fear and ignorance is showing and it's fucking ugly and embarrassing. But it's not you lot (the ones who are stupid enough to actually be honest about their feelings) who are concerning, it's the ones who deep down feel these sentiments but keep it tucked away so they can position themselves to actively discriminate and influence society from a position of power.

Rant over. X

 

How do you rate this article?

3


(S)llew la Wulf
(S)llew la Wulf

Yet another artist screaming (colourfully) into the void. I like to dance. I write. I do self portraiture and i draw... I cover topics ranging from racial bias to female sexuality to capitalism to rape culture and of course, love ❤️


Llewella_la_femme
Llewella_la_femme

Some of my more political writing and art...

Send a $0.01 microtip in crypto to the author, and earn yourself as you read!

20% to author / 80% to me.
We pay the tips from our rewards pool.