Shocking “Black Woman Chair”! Would you sit on this?

OBlackCopy_ Black_woman_chair_DASHA-ZHUKOVA-570kay… this is where my emotional, intuitive, reactionary mind picks a fight with my rational, analytical, objective mind. Buro 247 published an online interview with Dasha Zhukova, the Russian editor-in-chief of Garage magazine, who was photographed atop a chair made of a life size scantily clad black woman frozen in a very compromising position.

I am trying to be fair about the existence of this Black Woman Chair aka art piece created by Norwegian artist Bjarne Melgaard. It’s one of a series of installments inspired by the work of artist Allen Jones as a commentary on sexism and racism.  To be fair there are other “furniture” pieces in this collective that feature white women in similar compromising positions. Blackcopyy_white_woman_chair

But take the Black Woman Chair out of its collective, plop a white socialite on top of it (or her),  and instantly another layer of meaning rises to the surface. The one who’s on top becomes part of the art piece.  What becomes the message? Dominance over subservience? Privilege over bondage? Superiority over inferiority? Actually there may be brilliance in this transformation of perspective. If a black man sits on the Black Woman Chair, what would that say? How about a white man? A black woman? In a gallery this chair is provocative art. As Dasha’s prop in a photo op, it becomes racist.

The backlash has been extreme. In an issued statement, Dasha had this to say “…I regret allowing an artwork with such charged meaning to be used in this context. I utterly abhor racism and would like to apologize to those offended by my participation in this shoot…”

Miroslava Duma of Buro 24/7.ru wrote on Instagram, “Dear All, Buro 24.7.ru  team and I would like to express our sincerest apology to anyone who we offended or hurt…”

Really now? Sometimes I wonder what people are thinking when they do stuff like this.

What do you think?

6 comments

  1. Kushite Prince

    People who make this type of “art” are truly demented. They try to hide thier racial and sexual fetish behind so-called art. I think it’s degrading and dehumanizing to women in general. But the chair with the black woman is especially sickening!! The maker of this chair is a demon!

    • eldhughes

      The sexual fetish comment is very interesting. Never thought about that, or maybe I did but it was rolled up in so many different negative messages that I didn’t bother dissecting them. Thanks Kushite.

      • Kushite Prince

        Just my observation. But I really think it has something to do with women being submissive. It has a lot to do with sex,race and power. Has do most things under white supremacy.

  2. Pepper Miller

    Art like this is intended to be a conversation starter, not offensive. You asked, why do people do stuff like this? Edye, they are not playing the video to the end. Given that society penalizes those for talking about race and culture related to race, some people…a lotta people still don’t fully understand (or want to understand) the impact that slavery, post slavery and discrimination has on our culture. They see a Black President, they see us in First Class and driving Mercedes; they see Beyonce’ and J and figure all is well. “We’re equal, and post racial, so I can create and promote my women’s chair exhibit…. and I’m so excited to include a Black women’s chair to be fair and equal.” is the mindset. Race, racial, racism are hot button topics. But we still need to have the conversations to help society “get it” and “get us”.

    • Reginald Nelson

      This is something that should not be supported or even allowed to be called art. I find it so amazing that people don’t think before they assign their name to something like this. I am an African American Man and this is horrible to look at. Woman in general are more than some submissive subject to be at your beckon call, but adored and loved with kindness and a tender heart. What is Art now a days?

      • eldhughes

        Reginald, it’s great to know you hold black women in such high regard. You ask what is art nowadays. I think art is what you feel it is. Notice I said feel and not think. Art is subjective and purely at the mercy of the beholder. Given where the world is headed, I wonder how this installation will be viewed 25…50… or even 100 years from now. Or will it be thought of at all?

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