White Noise/The Peacekeeper Collaboration notes…
“WhiteNoise/The Peacekeeper“ is a sculptural, digital media installation that explores institutional racism and the disturbing trend toward militarized policing in America. Viewers are presented with the opportunity to consider and confront race- based violence against African Americans in relationship to the benefits of White privilege.
Media coverage of events, from Ferguson to Charleston, bombard every news source across the nation. Yet many feel far removed from the reality of that violence. By staying quiet do we send the message that these occurrences are okay? What grounds do we, as White artists, have to make work commenting on this? As intergenerational, White, female collaborators we bring these questions to the work.
Kathleen Caprario-Ulrich created “White Noise”, a digital audio/visual media installation, and Marissa Solini created “The Peacekeeper”, a 50-plaster gun installation balancing on a 60″ wooden pedestal. Both works were created independently by the respective artists, but joined together in a partnership installation upon realizing the common perspective and issues that both Kathleen and Marissa were addressing in their works. It is their hope that by uniting forces, they can send a stronger message about racial injustice and White privilege in today’s society. The fifty white plaster replicas (molded from a toy gun) are stacked as a cairn. The namesake toy is designed for children and available at many major department stores. America claims itself as a melting pot, yet the recent acts of violence towards the black community have only further divided the races, which begs the question—who is keeping the peace?
The abstracted static, the White Noise, that is digitally projected at The Peacekeeper’s base, has a metaphoric duality. The accompanying, looped audio, comprised of extended static buzz and scripted dialog, invites the viewer to consider their response to the complexity and cultural dynamics of race in America. Does one speak up and out against racially motivated violence or remain silent and insulated from the reality of institutional racism? We all have a choice—WNTP asks, what’s yours?
Marissa Solini is a recent university art graduate and Kathleen Caprario-Ulrich is Marissa’s former art instructor.