Thursday, January 30, 2014

The Infamous Human Chair Photo: Racist or Misunderstood?

The photo of Russian socialite, art critic and Garage Magazine editor Dasha Zhukova , has sparked an outcry both online & off. The photo above, originally published in the Russian magazine 'Buro 247', shows Zhukova sitting on a human chair made from a Black model. Cautious observers point out that the photo is a remake of a style and a series from previous artists. However, that context doesn't overcome the context regarding race. Racism is rampant in Russia, so how could Zhukova or anyone else believe that this would be viewed as acceptable? Then again, their aim may have been to shock. They were definitely successful at pissing off a large number of people. The aim may have been to gain more exposure for her magazine. If that is the case, then it's like adding salt to the wound. It just makes it that much worse. It has also been reported that the human figure is simply a mannequin... not a real model. Looks like a model to me. But I don't think that makes a huge difference either way.

I think it's racist just in terms of the publisher not recognizing the social context and environment in which it was put out.

Any thoughts? Is this defensible?

1 comment:

rikyrah said...