When Artists Fear their Audience

On December 5, 2014, a visiting faculty member at the University of Iowa mounted a sculpture in the school’s central campus yard, called the Pentacrest. Serhat Tanyolacar’s piece consisted of Ku Klux Klan vestments constructed from tar-on-paper silkscreen reproductions of newspaper articles about incidents of racial violence over the last century. The hood grew straight out of the robe, implying the absence of any figure inside, though its sleeves floated up as if occupied by arms. It seemed an ominous costume inhabited by a headless ghost. (It was, in fact, wearable; Tanyolacar had donned it in a 2010 protest march conducted after a security guard at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial was shot by a white supremacist.)

Tanyolacar intended the work as a statement against racial violence, but many in the university community didn’t take it that way. The Gazette quoted

Article source: http://www.city-journal.org/2015/bc0123fe.html

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