Critical Writing Index

Imagining Whiteness in Art

by Joseph Small

University of Notre Dame Electronic Theses & Dissertations, 2011

In his thesis IMAGINING WHITENESS IN ART, Joseph Small examines Matthew Barney’s Cremaster 3, Sally Mann’s Deep South, and Paul McCarthy’s Class Fool regarding the artists’ white identity and to shed a light on “how these artists’ cultural representations align with society’s definitions of whiteness. He argues that while many white artists do work with issues of race they continue to go unlabeled.”

“Not naming whiteness as a discourse within art allows the dominant societal discourse to go unquestioned. Far too often art and racial politics are labeled as neutral or invisible instead of as white. An expansion of the critical analysis of art through examining whiteness could not only benefit artists directly engaging with racial identity issues; it could also provide a new avenue for the reexamination of art history.”

ITEM 2011.112 – available for viewing in the Research Centre

Videos, Artworks and Artists Cited

Class FoolPaul McCarthy

Cremaster 3Matthew Barney

Deep SouthSally Mann