Artist Statement

In America, there is “White Innocence '' — an innocence that serves as a quiet affirmation of the continuing racial paradigm against black Americans. First used by Gloria Wekker from her book White Innocence: Paradoxes of Colonialism and Race, the term was used in reference to her Dutch ancestry, where the same issues of racial denial were and still remain present. We look to use this term when connecting the systematic rejection of white Americans toward racial discrimination and the adverse effects of silence. In this series, we take inspiration from William Pope L. by using satire not simply to examine the stereotypes surrounding race but to dissect the damage these preconceptions do to both black and white individuals and, more broadly, to society. This includes but is not limited to the continued use of blackface, black cultural appropriation, and black people being seen as commodities of entertainment, objects of obsession, and subjects of fear. It is in this recognition that we understand the racial divide still taking place in what we were raised to believe was a “post-racial” America.

 

Joel Addison Fuller

 

Joel is an artist with a background in digital illustration, digital media, and virtual reality. He holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Art + Design from Butler University and a M.F.A in Digital Art from Indiana University Bloomington.

He was born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama, a city known for its history of degradation and dehumanization of black people during the Civil Rights Movement. He’s the nephew of Audrey Faye Hendricks. The youngest child arrested in the Civil Rights Movement at the age of eight years old. His family not only participated in the movement, but risked their body, economic security, and their lives fighting for equal rights. While his aunt is no longer here. He controls the memory of her and she told him to never let our struggle fade into history.

 

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