I wrote this piece about Adrian Piper back in 2014; it makes me tremendously angry to see what is happening to the BIPOC community. The subject of racial inequality and inequity is one that still rages in flames in our contemporary world….
Really wish I could have known for certain what Adrian was thinking when she extricated herself from the show in Texas…
I am an embryo, concerning my knowledge of the Art UNIVERSE!
However, I am aware; we should always seek the courage and tenacity to stand up for our beliefs. Specifically issues of equality pertaining to: race, gender, ethnicity, age, orientation or a plethora of subjects I could simply notate to occupy 10 dictionaries worth of significant causes that mandate advocacy.
This is what world-renowned Artist/Philosopher Adrian Piper has achieved. A spectacular female mortal, Adrian has fulfilled in her lifetime of work credentials that would shame some of the exceptional Philosophical minds that have ever existed. I strongly identify with her work, life, and stories of prejudice. It fills me with EXTREME sorrow to contemplate that in 2013, the age of instant media some still believe there should be 2 separate bathrooms, restaurants, neighbourhoods one for “whites” and the other for “Blacks.” To name Adrian as a pioneer, in the Philosophical/Art world is an understatement. As a society, we should be marinating and absorbing the message that she has presented humanity through out the course of her life’s work.
Upon completion of my SSW (Social Service Worker) diploma, there was one question that I could not stop focusing on, one question that to this day still haunts me “what is the verity of humanity?” If you seek, you will see Adrian has answered that question for us. Through out all of her social experiments, letters and energy still spent on her mission statement. This is not a call to love regardless of what is done to you – this is a call to love, forgive and grow as a race.
As a HUMAN-RACE! To comprehend BLOOD!
Adrian Piper, a trailblazer, who has paved the way for many of us in the fields of Advocacy, Philosophy and Art. Adrian’s CV rivals the work of these women listed below. I am curious how many tears evaporated on the cold ground before they were finally listened to and their work honoured?
I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminished fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear.Rosa Parks
I have been in Sorrow’s kitchen and licked out all the pots. Then I have stood on the peaky mountain wrapped in rainbows, with a harp and a sword in my hands.Zora Neale Hurston
These women have all worked/ing towards change of those who are consistently marginalized due to colour, gender, or orientation to name a few. We are required to undergo a metamorphosis in order to cultivate our thoughts and strengths. We as a society need to listen to Adrian’s message of love and ignorance or as a society will be doomed!
Recently, Adrian removed her work from a show she had exhibited in Texas last year that should have also been viewed in New York at NYU’s Grey Art Gallery. Unfortunately, the New York catalogue of “Radical Presence: Black Performance in Contemporary Art,” for Adrian Piper’s section has a sorrowful and plugged-in monitor adorned with a note.
….my work springs from a belief that we are transformed — and occasionally reformed — by immediate experience, independently of our abstract evaluation of it and despite our attempts to resist it… it promoted a changed in another entity without undergoing any permanent change itself…the work such is nonexistent except when it functions as a medium of change between the artist and the viewer.Adrian Piper
Photo Credit: ARTNews
One might speculate that Adrian is leaving it up to how we are going to feel or what we are going to do? I contacted Adrian personally to request an interview. Although my request was declined, she generously offered an essay she had written. I am going to share “Passing for White, Passing for Black” originally penned in 1991 with all my readers. Once I reached the final words of this social conscious essay, I felt extremely emotionally empowered to ensure there is positive inspiration; energy to grow, learn and keep all of this inertia alive. I feel in myself an overwhelming challenge by Adrian to be a better human being. I am humbled by her work, how she consistently seeks a higher truth and comprehension.
With out you, Adrian, there would be no me or anyone else out there who is inspired to keep the knowledge of what you started decades ago alive. To not only survive in a diverse world of ignorance and bigotry but a beacon of change: to assist, to cultivate a breed of awareness where we are all be emancipated.
You can read all about Adrian’s journey at her inspirational site.
Adrian Piper is indeed a remarkable citizen of this world!