White Man On a Pedestal (WMOAP), an exhibition of work by Doreen Garner and Kenya (Robinson) questions a prevailing western history that uses white-male-heteronormativity as its persistent model. Each artist challenges the accepted visual elements of this monumentality, playing with size, texture and performance.
Garner’s practice has long involved itself with medical histories and how black women have been tortured, sterilized and cataloged, all in the interest of science. For this exhibition, Garner focuses on Dr. J. Marion Sims and his canonization as ‘The Father of Modern Gynecology,’ to reveal the savage techniques he inflicted upon women. A silicone cast will be made of Sims’ monument in Central Park, creating a body upon which to reproduce some of those 19th Century procedures. An operating theatre will be constructed as an interactive modular installation housing sculptural work and acting as a space for live performance.
(Robinson) has been carrying the #WHITEMANINMYPOCKET (aka Dave Fowler) since 2013. It has become a fetish object relevant to both the contemporary corporate landscape and the questioning of privilege assigned to whiteness. Most specifically, however, it is a miniature representation of the absurdity of homogeneity in spaces of power. WMOAP offers a platform to lay this idea to rest by enacting a large-scale funeral for the #WHITEMANINMYPOCKET. In addition to the procession, eulogy and repast, (Robinson) will manufacture 10,000 ‘Daves’ in the mode of the terracotta soldiers of ancient China that will ultimately be buried in an undisclosed location at the close of the exhibition.