Free, White, and 21
After studying painting in Boston and at Yale, Howardena Pindell mostly created abstract paintings and paper collages. Her radical formalism went against the expectations of the art world, where African-American artists were expected to produce primitivist art. In the late 1970s, social and political issues like racism and sexism began to take on a more central role in Pindell’s work. Initially, Pindell was involved with the feminist art movement in the US, but eventually became disillusioned and criticised the movement, as it, too, generally gave priority to white women. Howardena Pindell is a professor at Stony Brook in New York.
It is this conflict within the feminist movement that Howardena Pindell deals with in this video, in which she appears as both a black and a white woman. Pindell stages her experiences of the everyday racism she has to contend with as a black woman, even in seemingly liberal circles.
Courtesy Le Peuple Qui Manque, Paris