Thursday, December 17, 2009

Hiring @ VII- The Gary Knight Blues

Enough has certainly been made of the now infamous James Nachtwey Want Ad. Personally, I took a more hands on approach back in my very abbreviated non career as an assistant when someone refused to pay up.

But the job specs that really got my attention this year was Gary Knight's requirement for integrating VII. First, he went through some rather intense soul searching to elucidate just how diverse the multiverse of photographers at VII already were in every possible, conceivable way- except when it comes to... uhh... race. Therefore, he reasoned the only way to truly integrate VII's line up in a righteous manner would be to incorporate a non-white from some non-Westernized country. That's right, all you ghetto, slum and favela dwellers shunned by lighter skinned society need not apply- you all tainted, so don't you be wasting ol' Gary's time. Only a pure and noble savage specimen can let loose the Third World, One World, feel good vibes at VII. So if you show up portfolio in hand at VII's front door, make sure you do so in indigenous, native garb- something practical, fairly conservative, but, ya know, "colorful" all the same. Ethnic, that's it! And a pleasingly lyrical (albeit slight and not too difficult to understand) accent would also help cheer up the place.

When we finally got the discussion on racism started last June, I expected the haters, the indifferent, and those simply without clue- that's a given. What still takes me for the royal loop are those who really should know better, those who are supposedly "enlightened," who come out with a statement that reeks of the most rampant neocolonialism imaginable! Do we take him at his word- that he wants a real show piece, something so exotic no one will ever question just how broad minded they truly are? Hell, they could even send it out on tour if they ever get tired of displaying it in office!

Or is he just slick and media savvy enough to cleverly divert attention and confuse concurrent issues? How's that coming along, Gary?

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