Scandals of appropriation or Art

This week we talked and analyzed the different works of “art” created by Goldsmith and Place. With Goldsmith he created a poem of the sorts in memory of Micheal Brown. Vanessa Place’s scandalous situation was her “tweeting” the entirety of Gone With the Wind by Margret Mitchell. What I want to focus on is the insensitivity of Kenneth Goldsmith in his performance of “The Body of Micheal Brown”. With his formality and desensitization of his performance, it emphasizes the cruelty Micheal Brown went through, but it also presents the idea of the white man being completely insensitive towards the black man which was the main issue in the death of Micheal Brown.


Although his formality can be seen as being respectful, it worked in the total opposite way in the eyes of the majority of society. Goldsmith’s style of appropriating his work from other texts is usually well received by the audience, however this did not go well for him. His specific piece being taken from the autopsy report. This memoir to Micheal Brown was so pure and raw because of the fact that it was a list of facts about the body. The fact that it was a white man presenting this “poem” creates the this image that the white man do not care and are desensitized to the fact a black student was murdered. His monotone voice and the presentation of details about the body presents Goldsmith as an insensitive white man. It may seem a little much by using one white man to represent a whole race, but it is natural. Throughout history there have been multiple situations where white people have been insensitive to the black society which is why it is a recurring problem, widening the gap between these two races. But we have to remember, Goldsmith may be insensitive but just like an article by Adam Jordan on this scandal he was “collecting the facts”.



Jordan, Adam. “Kenneth Goldsmith’s Formalized Injustice – Queen Mob’s Tea House.” Queen Mobs Tea House. N.p., 23 Mar. 2015. Web. 07 Apr. 2016. <;. 


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