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Rebekah Modrak Launches RETHINK SHINOLA

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Asso­ciate Pro­fes­sor Rebekah Mod­rak has launched RETHINK SHI­NOLA, a new art­work cri­tiquing the brand­ing mes­sages pub­li­cized by the com­pany Shi­nola. Shinola’s name is a nod” to the for­mer shoe pol­ish com­pany that pro­moted their prod­uct using racist car­i­ca­tures of African Amer­i­cans. The new” Shi­nola planted itself in Detroit and lever­ages and prof­i­teers from the extreme con­di­tions and image of the city. It cre­ates rep­re­sen­ta­tions of Patri­ar­chal white­ness to enforce per­cep­tions of their lead­er­ship,” and cir­cu­lates images of Black employ­ees being grate­ful for this so-called governance. 

RETHINK SHI­NOLA is meant to be viewed on larger browser win­dows, and is not vis­i­ble on cell phones or small tablets.

Sev­eral mem­bers of the Stamps com­mu­nity assisted Mod­rak with this work. Cur­rent Stamps stu­dent Beth Reeck and Stamps alums Hay­den Nickel, Abby Clemens, Sophie Gold­berg, and Sarah Pos­ner worked on stills for the Implicit Jacques Panis on Shinola’s Quest to Revive Amer­i­can Man­u­fac­tur­ing” video, and alum Joey Ostran­der filmed and edited the videos. Cur­rent MFA stu­dent Masimba Hwati is con­tribut­ing to writ­ing about the project. Assis­tant Pro­fes­sor of The­ater at the Uni­ver­sity of Michi­gan, Rob Najar­ian, per­formed the role of Jacques Panis for The Shi­nola Lecture.