PRINT November 2019


Stephanie Syjuco, Cargo Cults: Java Bunny, 2016, ink-jet print, 40 × 30". From the series “Cargo Cults,” 2016.

THE 2016 United States presidential election coincided with a surge in threats against vulnerable communities—an FBI report cited a nearly 20 percent increase in hate crimes the following year. The sharpest increases were in incidents related to race, ethnicity, and sexuality. One dominant explanation has narrativized a comfortable, fictional “before” and “after,” a troubling, liberal iteration of “make America great again.” But an alternative analysis is far more convincing: The events of the past few years did not represent a startling shift but rather a doubling down on that Western bedrock: white supremacy.

Stephanie Syjuco, Applicant Photos (Migrants #3) (detail), 2013–17, ink-jet print, 20 × 16". From the series “Applicant Photos (Migrants),” 2013–17.

The San Francisco–based artist Stephanie Syjuco has been setting the stage for the latter argument for more than two decades, tracking the indissociable effects of empire and capitalism with particular attention to the violence underpinning who does and doesn’t

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