Saturday, January 30, 2010

Hate and Art

Darrin contacted us not too long ago looking for information on the racist movement in the Atlantic provinces, particularly Prince Edward Island. If anyone would like to help, please contact him.

Artist in residence explores themes of hate, intolerance

Artist Darrin White's research for a project exploring hate and intolerance revealed some intriguing insights.

"People who are vociferously verbalizing hatred and intolerance seem to share a common facial expression and this holds true across age, gender and racial divides," says a release.

Beyond the frown lines and the pinched eyes, one can see a startlingly similar mouth shape, almost a rectangle, with the lower lip often pushed aggressively forward. The look is the same on the faces of a young male skinhead yelling at a demonstration, a Black Panther with his fist raised, a white woman screaming at a high-school-aged black girl at the initiation of the integration of schools in the American south and an Asian man protesting the activities of the Falun Gong.

This likeness is ironic considering that human feelings of hatred and intolerance are directed towards others - people who, generally speaking, have more similarities to us than differences from us.

This irony is just one aspect of hate and intolerance White is exploring through drawings and sculpture during his time as the P.E.I. Council of the Arts artist-in-residence.

The public is invited to visit him and discuss the work in progress until Jan. 31 during the artist's open studio hours: Monday and Tuesday, 1- 5 p.m.; Wednesday to Friday, noon- 2:15 p.m.; and by chance after 3:30 p.m. from Wednesday to Friday and on weekends. To make an appointment, email him at


Anonymous said...

is he equating neo-Nazis with the Black Panthers?

nos200 said...

Not sure if hes talking about the Black Panther Party of the 60s or the more recent group that co-opted the name but which is clearly a racist group.

Anonymous said...

I hope he's making that distinction. Otherwise he's off on his history.

Darrin White said...

Hello Everyone. I'm Darrin, the artist in question. Indeed, I'm not trying to equate any one group with any other group, whether neo-nazi, black panther, islamic fundamentalist etc. What I was trying to equate was the expression, in the physical sense, of common facial features, that seems to cross religions, ideas, factions, political parties, etc.

It was, in the end, an all to easy face to find, independent, it seems, of era, or race, or ultimate goal.

In the end, as it was an residency that was open to the public, it was a very engaging experience, discussing the notion/expressions of human hate with high school students, with senior citizens, with ESL students, etc.

Lastly, thank you for your comments as well. Even the short exchange about whether or not it was the 60's version of the black panthers or the current version helps to further illuminate general understanding of the problems of hate in contemporary society, which was, of course, the point.

If the work ends up in a show, I will certainly let the ARC collective know about it.

Darrin White