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Daniel Oliva - White Constructions

  • NAPOLEON 319 North 11th Street \ Floor 2 Philadelphia, PA 19107 United States (map)

White Constructions is a solo exhibition by NAPOLEON member Daniel Oliva and explores the history of racial segregation and inequality in American housing. The work approaches the issue by focusing on mid-Twentieth Century racist government housing policy and sources of white anxiety that intertwine the personal and social. In paintings and drawings, he evokes multiple eras by making anachronistic tableaus representing the people who inhabit middle-class homes and neighborhoods, and examining how people develop relationships informed by gender, race, and class. Oliva invites us to see people living in a system of white supremacy that has historically been, and in many ways continues to be, supported by the federal government. The exhibition explores how racism is larger than merely the evil actions so often committed by distinct and limited groups of people, but an elaborate system in which all white people are conditioned to perpetuate racism through unconscious collusion. Those who identify as white are the beneficiaries of this system, and in becoming aware of the history of whiteness, are challenged to see their place in dismantling it. 

White Constructions considers an issue that remains hidden only from those who can afford to ignore it. As more white people willingly and honestly observe the harmful effects of this system of power, which bears down heavily on our national psyche, they may help in resisting it.

Earlier Event: November 2
Plakookee - Eternal Cleanse
Later Event: November 2
Pure Abstraction