My White Friends extends my 10-year exploration into photography’s description of race. This body of images explores the challenges of describing whiteness and assumptions about social circles. For this body of photographs I ask those close to me who identify as white about the qualities of their racial identity. These color images depict confidants, mentors and peers who have shaped my understanding of identity even though we have different racial profiles. They are attempts to image a racial category that has an intangible description. Some images are documents of my time with friends, others are performances of whiteness by the sitter, and then there are images in which I impose my own stereotypes of whiteness.
D.N Chicago, Illinois (2009)
From the essay Taking Another Look at Race: Myra Greene & Carla Williams
"Greene asks viewers to see these portraits as racialized – to see them as “white.” Her series asks viewers to notice the whiteness of her subjects, and to query whether or not one would see that whiteness without Greene’s prompting. Her title, My White Friends, creates an interesting insider-outsider tension, suggesting a comparison it does not complete. The title encourages one to ask -- Who is the person claiming these friends, and what other friends does she have? "
- Shawn Michelle Smith, Associate Professor, Visual and Critical Studies, School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
After 5 years of travels, shooting, editing and printing, the portfolio has created a great diversity of imagery, and potential ways of describing whiteness. I now hope to transform this portfolio into a book. German art publisher KEHRER VERLAG is interested in publishing the book, and I am already working with an editor and designer to work on the its form. I have received some personal and institutional support, but cannot raise all of the funds alone. Please donate to help this book come to life!
J.S. Albuquerque, New Mexico (2008)
Myra Greene was born in New York City. She received her BFA from Washington University in St. Louis and her MFA in photography from the University of New Mexico. Her work has been exhibited in galleries and museums nationally including Museum of the African Diaspora, San Francisco, California; Spelman College Museum of Fine Art, Atlanta, Georgia and Sculpture Center in New York. Myra is the recipient of the Illinois Arts Council Fellowship in Photography in 2009 and has completed residencies at Light Work in Syracuse, New York and the Center for Photography at Woodstock. Her work is currently in the collections of the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, The Nelson-Atkins Museum, Kansas City, The New York Public Library and the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C.
- (45 days)