Since humans began making art, many have pushed the boundaries. The more notable contemporary examples include Andre Serrano’s “Piss Christ,” which achieved such infamy when it debuted in 1987 that a description nowadays is superfluous, and Chris Ofili’s elephant dung-spattered “The Holy Virgin Mary” (1999).
Christina Edwards, a senior and art student at Sacramento State University, hasn’t yet achieved the same level of notoriety, but she may be on the cusp.
An installation by her, displayed on the university’s campus in early December, consisted of two real-live males with nooses around their necks dangling from a tree branch. Both “models” were white. Of the work, Edwards — who is black — told Fox affiliate KTXL:
The purpose of this performance was to bring to light social injustices and the issue of inequality that impacts me and my community as a whole.
Edwards says she chose to illustrate the phenomenon of lynching by reversing races in the hopes of shining a new light on an “old but standing issue.”
But not everyone who saw the work grasped the insight she was seeking to communicate. One person who didn’t was University President Alexander Gonzalez. In a statement he said:
The university did not approve the display, and I want to assure everyone that I am working to address the multiple issues raised by this incident.
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