For most of her life, St. Louis artist Sarah Paulsen was oblivious to what it means to be white, and the privilege it confers.
Then in 2008, Charles Lee “Cookie” Thornton shot and killed six people at Kirkwood City Hall. Thornton was a black man; his victims were white. The tragedy threw a spotlight on the racial, class and wealth divide that had long existed in the St. Louis suburb. It also prompted Paulsen to begin exploring the social construct of race in America and how being white means never having to think about it.
The result is her collection of stop-motion animation films, “The Invention of Whiteness,” now on display as part of the Great Rivers Biennial exhibition. In our latest Cut & Paste podcast, we talk with Paulsen about her journey and her show at the Contemporary Art Museum. It runs through Aug. 19.
Look for new Cut & Paste (#cutpastestl) podcasts every few weeks on our website. You can also find all previous podcasts focusing on a diverse collection of visual and performing artists, and subscribe to Cut & Paste through this link.
The podcast is sponsored by JEMA Architects, Planners and Designers.
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