"Historically, the primitive is articulated by the west in deprivative or supplemental terms: as a spectacle of savagery or as a state of grace, as a socius without writing or the Word, history or cultural complexity or as a site of originally unity, symbolic plenitude, natural vitality. There is nothing odd about this Eurocentric construction: the primitive has served as a coded other at least since the Enlightenment, usually as a subordinate term in its imaginary set of oppositions (light/dark, rational/irrational, civilized/savage). This domesticated primitive is thus constructive, not disruptive, of the binary ratio of the west; fixed as a structural opposite or a dialectical other to be incorporated, it assists in the establishment of a western identity, center, norm and name. In its modernist version the primitive may appear transgressive, it is true, but it still serves as a limit: projected within and without, the primitive becomes a figure of our unconscious and outside (a figure constructed in modern art as well as in psychoanalysis and anthropology in the privileged triad of the primitive, the child and the insane).”

Hal Foster “The “Primitive” Unconscious of Modern Art, or White Skin Black Masks” in Recodings: Art, Spectacle, Cultural Politics

Photographs in order:

1. J.T. Zealy & Louis Agassiz, Delia, American born daughter of Renty -Congo, 1850
2. Viviane Sassen, Spring of the Nile, from Flamboya (September 2009)
3. Greg Kadel, Constance Jablonski, from Número (October, 2010)
4. Frances Benjamin Johnston, Louis Firetail, Sioux, Crow Creek, Wearing Tribal Clothing in American History Class, Hampton Institute, Virginia, c1899-1900
5. Jean-Paul Goude, Naomi Campbell in Wild Things, from Harpers Bazaar, 2009
6.  Viviane Sassen, Menthe, from Ultra Violet
7. Leni Riefenstahl, from The Last of the Nuba
8. Viviane Sassen, Mimosa, from Ultra Violet
9. W. Eugene Smith, Madness (Female mental patient), 1959, from “Haiti”
10. Viviane Sassen, Trickster, from Ultra Violet

@1 year ago with 113 notes
#Art #Primitivism #Hal Foster #Criticism #Photography #The Politics of Representation #Orientalism #J.T. Zealy #Viviane Sassen #Greg Kadel #Frances Benjamin Johnston #Jean-Paul Goude #Leni Riefenstahl #W. Eugene Smith #Edward Said 
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