a speaker is implied, as is a possibly racially charged subject of discussion

Blue Apple

Senior Member
Persian (Iran)
Does the highlighted sentence mean

1. these words imply a speaker talking about himself/herself suffering from racism

or

2. these words imply that a speaker is saying them and that these words are probably about a racist subject


Context:

Like many of his other works, Ligon’s etching White #1 (1995) is in grisaille; it presents a sentence fragment of black letters. Cropped on each side, Ligon renders the words less legible since he has marked the background with dark drips and stains, causing the letters to blend into some of these dark areas. As viewers we do not know if the phrase is taken from any well-known source. From the words that can be discerned in their entirety in the frame of the print—“of course,” “marked,” “not impose,” “hands,” “about white,” “father is not”—a speaker is implied, as is a possibly racially charged subject of discussion. It is also suggested that the sentence fragment does not intimate any issue of race, and that if the viewer makes this connection, the content of what is being “said” in the composition is neither verifiable nor certain (Art and Politics by Claudia Mesch).
 
  • suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    Version 2 is closest.
    However, your choice of "racist" is not accurate. "A racially charged subject of discussion" is not automatically "racist".

    Imagine the voice in the artwork is a black narrator describing their life. It might refer to their race, but that is far from "racist".

    Someone calling him a bad name would be racist. Discussing that event would not be racist.
     

    Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    These words imply that a speaker is saying them ("of course") and that these words are possibly about a racial subject ("about white").

    But of course, that is all in the mind of the viewer. The text might just as easily be about a Catholic priest unhappy because his white shirt has been marked by someone's dirty hands.
     

    suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    These words imply that a speaker is saying them ("of course") and that these words are possibly about a racial subject ("about white").

    But of course, that is all in the mind of the viewer. The text might just as easily be about a Catholic priest unhappy because his white shirt has been marked by someone's dirty hands.
    Certainly, as the author goes on to suggest. The actual WORDS visible in the art work (and quoted here) could be about many othere things.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top