new-york

“Interrogating Identity”

Grey Art Gallery

Opening up artistic and scholarly canons, raising consciousness about the existence of others, celebrating multiculturalism (as opposed to the homogenizing “melting pot”)—such are the hallmarks of currently politically correct writing, grant giving, art-making, and other activities involving the processing of culture. “Interrogating Identity,” which focused on the work of “Black” artists (used here, in the British sense, to apply to non-Caucasians of various ethnic backgrounds), pandered to this trend while shedding little new light on the complex of related issues.

The work exhibited consisted largely of last-gasp reiterations of strategies overworked in the ’80s—media imagery and cultural icons paired with found or invented texts in combinations that allegedly deconstruct or subvert accepted ideologies and oppressive stereotypes. The use of graphic and textual languages drawn from

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