Tiffany B. Brown

On Resistance

Resistance is what you begin to embody when the culture changes and you find that you stand for values that are no longer fashionable. … I don’t get up the morning and decide to resist. But I have an impulse towards critical speech and then the culture resists me. That is the counterintuitive truth about how resistance works: just as lightning appears to strike from the sky downwards but actually rises from the earth, resistance runs not only from the individual towards the culture but, more profoundly, from the culture against the individual.

Feminist artist, art critic, and teacher Mira Schor on resistance and art in her essay The White List. The essay overall discusses the effects of resisting — of being a contrarian voice, a radically critical voice — in a culture that sees itself as progressive, but is really establishment and only slightly left of center. Yes, I am using capital-‘p’ political terms here. I think they’re appropriate.

I had not heard of Schor before hearing about her lecture at The Contemporary, but I am intrigued by what she said and plan to learn more.

Check out images of some of her pieces in the Brooklyn Museum’s Feminist Art Base. Or you can see a few of them in person at The Contemporary’s current exhibit “Substitute Teacher, ” on view until May 16.

Schor is also the author of two books, Wet and A Decade of Negative Thinking.

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