From: sarah smorol
Subject: Black mannequins, white masks?
Hello Dr. N- well, I thought I'd look around for what some current literal American Black mannequins might look like and this is what I came up with- Sarah
Black Mannequins, White Masks?
These are Nike Mannequins from 2000. (note the features of the central figure)
Daffy's Clothing Store in SOHO, 2005- no comment neccesary.
This is TYRA, available at a company that sells products to hairdressers.
She is touted as having "100% human hair on a black face". Did someone say blackface? Also, if the hair is "human" yet doesn't reflect natural African hair, then is African hair not "human"? Her eyes are blue in the only way they can be- (the white models sold alongside TYRA are not wearing this blue eye-shadow)This may be reading in, but I wonder...
The black mannequins below have no eyes, no windows to the soul...Perhaps the soul is too black to see as Fanon discusses(repudiates)?
Finally, allow me to juxtapose two extractions from popular culture, namely a Hollywood blockbuster by the name of I, Robot.
The first image is Will Smith in the center of the letter i with the word robot beneath and behind him the robot minions that hope to destroy humankind- it seems Will is the forerunning image that is the i. The second is the French version of the poster- in this the central image is of the robot (with seemingly anglo features and blue eyes), but what is interesting is the catch phrase"Nous confions nos maison, nos enfants, nos vies. Mais avons-nous raison de leur faire confiance?" which translates to "We Trust them with our homes, our children, our lives. But Do we have reason to give them this confidence?"(I cannot move this image but it exists in the meta(l)morphosis powerpoint in our Obscene machine blog). Here we find the sentiment given all the housecleaners, nannies and low-level workers, a fear of the other.
In the image on the right Will Smith seeks to identify the "malfunctioning" robot that wants to be a Man. This robot is named, yes, Sonny. (Think of the diminutive "son" used to call adult black males by condescending whites) The robot, the technological, is now humankinds slave and when it wants to be treated as human it must be destroyed- it's humanity is a threat to society. All of the "fear of the other" psychology we have learned about is visible in this parallel. The black man(Smith) is human but now must prevent the machine from reaching that status. I would argue that this is a way to replay the superior/inferior complex in the politically correct society.
Monday, April 02, 2007
Nike, "Africans," Mannequins, Race and Fasion
Devoted e725 scribe Sarah Smorol has check in with an illustrated posting: