Explorations in Whiteness

NEW YORK—A new art exhibit at the International Center of Photography, "White: Whiteness and Race in Contemporary Art," is an important, well-meaning but limited show that brings to the art world discussions about race that have been a part of college courses for more than a decade. Through photographs, video and mixed media works by ten artists, the exhibit attempts to tackle the difficult terrain of race, and dispel the myth that it is primarily the job of people of color to deal with racism.

"Whiteness continues to offer White people of all classes a valuable dividend: the ability to exist in the world without having to think about the color of their skin," writes the curator, Maurice Berger, in the show's catalogue. "Whiteness remains today no less meaningful to white people who continually reinforce their own authority and social standing by seeing themselves in positive contrast to an inferior, negative, or even dangerous "blackness." For them, whiteness is pure and value free. It is innate. It is everywhere. Yet, ironically, it is also invisible."

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Washington Post: The Darkness of White

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