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    Vaporizing white innocence: confronting the affective-aesthetic matrix of desiring witnessing

    Palacios, Margarita and Sheehi, S. (2020) Vaporizing white innocence: confronting the affective-aesthetic matrix of desiring witnessing. Subjectivity 13 , pp. 281-297. ISSN 1755-6341.

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    In this article, we mobilize a theoretical and political critique to the aesthetic and affect that informs “white innocence” and its attempts at “witnessing” the pain of the Other. Engaging with the work of Black critical race theorists (most prominently, Hortense Spillers and Amber Jamilla Musser), we put the artistic interventions of Hannah Black and Parker Bright critique of Dana Shutz’s “Open Casket” in conversation with Teresa Margolles’s “Vaporization.” In doing so, we explore the epistemological, affective and aesthetic dimensions of the desire of whiteness to transcend its own matrix of race-power. We argue that Black’s and Bright’s interventions are refusals to accept or be the object of the desire for redemption, collaboration, and recuperative forgiveness. Margolles’s Vaporization, on the other hand, compels to engage the space, corporality, and epistemology of flesh and forms by thinking through the multiplicities of embodiment as experienced through art and social productions. Margolles opens possibilities for us to think about fugitive moments of material, subjectivity, and social entanglements within institutionalized alienation itself that are otherwise re-metabolized by white innocence and the global art space.


    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: The final publication is available at Springer via the link above.
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): White innocence, Hannah Black, Parker Bright, Gloria Wekker, Teresa Margolles, Vaporization, Pornotroping, Schutz’s Open Casket, Witnessing, Aesthetics, affect
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 08 Jul 2020 09:23
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 18:00


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