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White Shoes
Nona Faustine

White Shoes Nona Faustine

White Shoes Nona FaustineWhite Shoes
Nona Faustine

Interview of the artist by Jessica Lanay.
72 Pages
300 x 290 mm
ISBN 9781913620516
White Shoes is a collection of self-portraits taken in locations around New York that were central to the city’s once pivotal – and now largely obscured and unacknowledged – involvement in the slave trade. Nona Faustine depicts herself at the sites of slave auctions, burial grounds, slave-owning farms, and the coastal locations where slave ships docked, posing nude apart from a pair of white high-heeled shoes. Documenting herself in places where history becomes tangible, Faustine acts as a conduit or receptor, in solidarity with people whose names and memories have been lost but are embedded in the land.
Through quiet but defiant self-representation, Faustine responds to a history of depiction of Black people that is shaped by subjugation, phrenology, and pseudo-science. Her complex large-format images refer and respond to a range of sources including daguerrotypes of slaves and photographs commissioned by naturalists, while her nudity — expressive of fearless self-possession as well as vulnerability – subverts the legacy of Black and female nudes in Western art. Running throughout the images, the talismanic white shoes that give the series its name suggest the many adaptations to dominant White culture that were and are still demanded of people of colour.
At once historical and speculative, White Shoes confronts the relationship between the visible and invisible, between what is displayed and what is kept from view.

About the Artist
Nona Faustine (b. 1977, New York) is a photographer and visual artist. She is a graduate of the School of Visual Arts and The International Center of Photography at Bard College’s MFA program. Her work focuses on the history, identity, representation, and evoking a critical and emotional understanding of the past, and proposes a deeper examination of contemporary racial and gender stereotypes. Faustine’s images have received worldwide acclaim and have been published in a variety of national and international media outlets such as Artforum, New York Times, Huffington Post, Hyperallergic, The Guardian, New Yorker Magazine, and Los Angeles Times. Faustine’s work has been exhibited at Harvard University, the Studio Museum of Harlem, the African American Museum in Philadelphia, Schomburg Center for Black Research in Harlem, the International Center of Photography, Saint Johns Divine Cathedral, and the Tomie Ohtake Institute in Sao Paulo, among other institutions. Her work is in the collections of the David C. Driskell Center at Maryland State University, the Studio Museum of Harlem, the Brooklyn Museum, and recently, the Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In 2019, Faustine was the recipient of the NYSCA/NYFA Fellowship, the Colene Brown Art Prize, the Anonymous Was A Woman grant and was a Finalist in the National Portrait Gallery’s Outwinn Boochever Competition. In January 2020, she participated in the inaugural class of Kehinde Wiley’s Black Rock Senegal Residency.
About the Publisher
MACK is an independent art and photography publishing house based in London. Mack works with established and emerging artists, writers and curators, and cultural institutions, releasing between 20-25 books per year. The publisher was founded in 2010 in London by Michael Mack.

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