September 12, 2017
Associate Professor Rebekah Modrak’s new video work, The Implicit Jacques Panis on Shinola’s Quest to Revive American Manufacturing, was selected for exhibition in Art Prize by Fountain Street Church. Fountain Street Church and the ACLU of Michigan represent an important ArtPrize venue that explores issues of social justice through artwork that demands basic human needs be met, diversity respected, and freedom of expression and action fostered.
Modrak’s video is a rectified readymade made by painting on an existing promotional video. The source video shows a day-in-the-life of Shinola President Jacques Panis. The company Shinola sells $800 watches that they falsely claimed were “made in Detroit.” Shinola’s name is “a nod” to the shoe polish company that promoted their product using caricature of blacks. The contemporary white-owned Shinola uses images of black workers in full-page ads in the NY Times as proof of the company’s authentic Detroit identity. The altered video shows Panis choreographed in a succession of hats, revealing the historical implications of hierarchy and power in each scene.
Rebekah Modrak: The Implicit Jacques Panis on Shinola’s Quest to Revive American Manufacturing
Opening Reception: Tuesday, September 19, 5:30 - 7:30 pm
Fountain Street Church
24 Fountain Street NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49503