Using the lens of relationality as posited in Stuart Hall's idea of identity and Terry Smith's notion of the contemporary, this essay analyzes the work of Jamaican contemporary artist Olivia McGilchrist, who, upon her return to the Caribbean after decades of living and studying in Europe, is interpellated into the position of white other, or “whitey,” as she is called on the streets. It argues that McGilchrist's art constitutes a poetics or a “how” of stepping into and negotiating white identity as a place of recognition. The essay explores McGilchrist's visual engagement with relationships between self and other and between past and present. It also examines the implications of McGilchrist's dialogic configuration of her still and moving images.
Marsha Pearce; Art as a Poetics of Recognition: Self and White Alterity in Olivia McGilchrist's Contemporary Art. Small Axe 1 March 2017; 21 (1 (52)): 70–88. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/07990537-3844247
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