Administrator’s note: This week we read the transcript of Adrian Piper’s ‘Cornered’ video-installation. Nicholas Carr posts this week, to address the various ‘issues’ of identity, image and ‘being.’
It seems as though Adrian Piper speaks about a problem of racial classification but only further entrenches the differences she perceives. Her statements are very antagonistic not only to "white" readers, she states very clearly that if you have an issue with anything she is saying – YOU have a problem. That sets you on the defensive and implies that if you object to anything she’s saying you are a racist. That is no way to have a conversation.
In the beginning of the writing Piper seems to imply that if she doesn’t state that she is "black," she is "white" – she is "black," whether or not she states it. I am "white," and it will be that way whether or not I state it. When there is an issue with anyone BEING who they are, we need to address it. Is Piper suggesting the fact that she has to identify herself as "black" is the real problem? Would she rather have a situation where she did not have to wave her banner? Or should more people who are "black," wave their flag? It is unclear in the end. There seems to be a double standard.
Reading for 28 March: Chapter 15, The Mythology of Difference: Vulgar Identity Politics at the Whitney Biennial by Charles A. Wright, Jr.