TRIGGER WARNING for anti-black racism, simulation of cannibalism/genital cutting
WOW, ok. so this is an addition to the photo/article I posted earlier about this cake. Apparently it is more than just edible, it is an art piece that cries out/screams as it is being cut.
The artist is a mixed black woman, Makode Linde, and makes lots of art about race. Putting this cake into context, makes it much more acceptable as a radical piece designed to cause discomfort to the Whites who will cut & consume it. The problem then is not the cake, which simply exists as a tool through which to provoke and showcase lingering racist and colonialist attitudes and practices, but rather those who are comfortable partaking in it.
And I think Linde is a genius now.
More context. I don’t know if I can think that critically about this yet.
My problem from the beginning was the happy white people partaking in it…I didn’t have much to say about the cake itself because I thought the point was to be “here’s this obviously fucked up thing, let’s see what white people do with it”.
And as usual, white people obliged.
If the cake and performance was supposed to cause discomfort, it completely failed on that part. While the cake itself was a very visually jarring thing to see, what really made my stomach drop and chest tighten was how happy the white people were. They were completely content that the cake they were so readily cutting into was screaming out in obvious pain. They were ecstatic that the cake they were eating was supposed to symbolize a Black woman’s body. They didn’t think twice about it. Even the ones we didn’t see cutting into the cake were happily standing by, snapping pictures and laughing. It was just so disturbing.
but we’re supposed to be the “primitives”.
The bolded. Also:
Linde is a DUDE
this piece reminds me of another performance art about racism & colonialism that I saw in an Intro to Cultural Studies class a few years back.
the performance art consisted of a cis man and woman dressed up in tacky leopard print…. the man in a lion cloth version and the woman in a bikini + skirt type version. They had fake plastic vines rapped around them and also wore multi-colored turkey feathers in their hair.
They were put inside a cage that was big enough for them to pace around in which also held a tv and a few other choice things. This cage toured the country (America i believe) to places like the Smithsonian, Field Museum, etc. Attached to the cage/on a plaque, there was a sign stating that these two people were from a recently undiscovered tribe of indigenous people that were living on an island in the pacific or something that had also just been discovered. The sign also said that if the museum goers paid (i forget the exact prices) 50 cents, the woman would show her breasts, if you paid a dollar, the man you show you his genitals, and if you paid $1.50 then they’d do something sexual (I believe… if memory serves me correct).
These people looked obviously fake, yet the museum goers (mostly white) would come up laughing and smiling, taking photos with the people in the cage in the background of their portrait (souvenir-like), time after time they’d pay the money to get the “indigenous” people in the cage to preform the act of showing themselves to the crowds… and these people didn’t think a think about it. Later on the camera crew reviled to the crowd doing this ridiculous shit that it was fake… that it was just a performance piece to revile to them their colonialism & racism at work… and all those people were hella embarrassed.
Sitting there in class, it was super hard for me to watch. I guess it’s different when the reality is that your ancestors or people very much like you have been forcefully put in these situations not to long ago. It’s not just a performance piece, that’s real shit… real life. It hurts… and I can’t even tell you how difficult it is to try to reign in your emotions enough not to cry and to try to hide how your shaking as you’re trying to explain to a room full of mostly non-poc’s what you’re going through and all that I listed above. Seeing these things is visceral and real.
In another time, that could be you…. and hell… this could still be you now.