What was moving me the most about his very perfomative „Art Serving“, was that the minister herself seemed to not grasp the severeness of the fact that she, a white heterosexual woman was dominating the black female body, using force, violence and (somehow) her institutional powers to cripple the body lying in front of her. By every cut she made, the pain grew stronger and stronger, the outcry for help got louder and louder.
A very disturbing fact about all this, was that Liljeroth seemed to be caught in between laughing because she seemingly had no clue what she was actually doing and her thinking that she was actually just serving a cake. What was actually happening was, that she abused her white institutional power to slice up the vagina and reproductive organs of a black woman in front of her, distributing the pieces of that body within the mostly white audience.
As the video of the performance spread virally through online media and all over the internet, many people of color accused Linde of having crossed a line – and not just slightly. In its core, obviously, the work of art has not been created in an afro-american context.
However, most responses on this subject had come from the United States of America – especially in terms of personal statement resulting from the uproar it had caused in the Community amongst Afro-Americans.
In the aftermath most of the opinions stretched from „what a courageous step toward confronting whiteness with this important issue“ to „disrespecting his own kind by ridiculing the forceful mutilation of the African women“.
Having followed Linde’s work for several years, I find the power of his overall work has grwon stronger and I highly value the fact, that he was and is not afraid to shake peoples’ perception on such controversial topics. He has been broadening discourse in a very import direction. Most positions have only been stated by academical writing or story telling and personal encounters. To me, Linde took the chance of taking the dicussion to yet another level – especially by forcefully making a white audience paticipatory in such a performance, in the predominantly white society of the nordic country of Sweden which is generally perceived to be open, forward thinking and rather progressive.
Apparently, for Adelsohn Liljeroth - this was more than just a piece of cake.
By this performance though, he proved that a white „readership“ was overwhelmed and overpowered by this strong piece of art. And it has shown, that there is a lot more work to be done to educate them about the power relations between white and black, be it the african, afro-european or afro-american community.
I highly respect his effort and courage to be stepping forward and even involving the cultural minister (and therefore the ‘political elite’) of the country he was born and raised in and not minding being accused by the Community.
More press and media: makodelinde.com