Cut & Paste: Fight over Kelley Walker exhibit simmers in St. Louis and in couple's relationship | St. Louis Public Radio

Cut & Paste: Fight over Kelley Walker exhibit simmers in St. Louis and in couple's relationship

Sep 30, 2016

An exhibition that opened at the Contemporary Art Museum Sept. 16 continues to draw fire for images that some say are demeaning to African-Americans. The issue has hit home with many St. Louisans including Shanti Parikh, an anthropology and African Studies associate professor, and her husband Jason Wilson, who’s on the board at CAM.

Visitors to the Contemporary Art Museum are now greeted by warning signs and a wall that went up in front of Kelley Walker's Direct Drive exhibit following criticism and outrage of the work.
Credit File photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Both attended a tense discussion last week in which a panel strongly critiqued the museum's decision to display the Kelley Walker exhibition “Direct Drive.”

They panelists decried the white artist's work which includes smeared images of black people. Many in St. Louis consider the artist's treatment of black bodies deplorable.

Wilson and Parikh have at times been on opposite sides of an argument about whether the museum should remove the exhibition. In our latest Cut & Paste podcast, we get in the trenches with them about their differences, the concept of artistic freedom — and the implications of the controversy.

Look for new Cut & Paste (#cutpastestl) podcasts every few weeks on our website. You can also view all previous podcasts focusing on a diverse collection of visual and performing artists, and subscribe to Cut & Paste through this link.

Editors note: Shanti Parikh serves on the board the Friends of St. Louis Public Radio.

Follow Willis and Nancy on Twitter: @WillisRArnold and @NancyFowlerSTL

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