Friday, June 08, 2007

A diversity of ghettos

An interview with Sonya Dyer.

[T]oday’s establishment-led diversity policies emphasise the supposed difference and separateness of non-white artists.

Paradoxically, this only ghettoises such artists, pushing them into separate systems of funding and exhibition. It also unfairly places a ‘burden of representation’ on ethnic minorities, who are expected to demonstrate their ethnicity in their work or be responsible for bringing in ‘diverse’ audiences into galleries and museums. It is as if the subject matter of non-white artists should always be about negotiating identity and certain members of the public can only appreciate work that reflects their own ethnicity. As Dyer asks: ‘Can’t we (non-white people) ever just make art?’

Good question that. (Though I would replace that "paradoxically" with "consequently").

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