Show Title:   Derrick Maddox 1st year MFA Review CAL ARTs

Title:   Burping I smell it Rancid in my hand

Date:   04/17/1995

Where:   My Studio, CAL ARTs, Valencia CA

Dimensions:   18’w x 11’h x 14’d

Materials:   Mixed media found object assemblage, Acrylic paint, charcoal stick, oilstick, Earth, cement, salt, Chicken feed, Chicken feet

          Burping I smell it rancid in my hand is a social critique of the "American" educational system from the perspective of a person of color (myself) who has been a participant in this system for thirty years. A institutional structure based in a capitalistic framework where knowledge is commodity and only the privileged and the stealthy are allowed access to this precious global resource, and those who do not fit into this survival of the fittest mentality are pushed to the fringes of society. After participating in the system for so long, I began to question why it seemed like all the people who were on the societal fringe happened to be people from Marginalized communities. Then one day I came to realize what the dilemma was in the cultural and educational exchange between whites and people of color. The inherent problem was the communication process which went on between these two groups was always one-sided. Where people of color were always expected to be bi-cultural, forced to learn the histories and ways of life of two human sub-species that of white America and there own. Where as white people were uni-cultural and ignorant of other cultures for the most part, Never having to venture past their myoptic cultural perspective. White people learn one history at home and one history at school, their own. For example, Take any kid of color, the first information they receive about the world is taught to them by their immediate community (family) are filtered through the ancestral and sub-cultural traditions of their people. Then when they are old enough to go to school they are forced fed histories and traditions of Eurocentric America. Where as again, Caucasian people never have to learn anybody else’s culture throughout their whole life. You have never heard of any white child in this country who has been forced to attend an all Asian-American Educational system. Where he or she is subjected to learning an all Asian-American history, and forced to adhere to the dialectical syntax rules of Asian-American English. Nor, have you ever heard of a white kid in this country being forced to go through an all Afro-American educational system. Where he or she is subjected to an all Afro-American history and taught only the rules that apply to the dialectical syntax of Black English (Ebonics). Now take the sub-cultural realities of the following "ethnic" groups: Turkish, Cambodian, Portuguese, Cuban, Iranian, Trinidadian, Brazilian, Mexican, Chinese, Algerian, and ask any white kid what he or she knows about these valid "American" histories, or to list all the grammatical rules that apply to these versions of the English Language. He or she at the most might be able to write down a few tidbits here and there, if that. Next, you ask any kid who is a descendant of one of the American subgroups mentioned, from the list above, what they think about the "American" educational system and nine times out of ten, I’ll betcha they’ll say it is full of shit. Why because the "American" educational system seems to employ a covert divide and conquer strategy which is detrimental to people of color. The system not only refuses to include these hyphenated Americans’ voices in the educational framework of this country. It also kept Marginalized groups at odds with each other by not showing (in an educational enviroment) the ways and lifestyles of other culturally oppressed people who breathe air in this country, Because to see the similarities and differences between cultures is to provide a way of understanding other cultures and the reasons why certain groups say and do the things that they do.

          Burping I smell it rancid in my hand was made to address a gamut of complex issues which are never addressed in the "American" educational System. The piece talks about the conflict between public and private realities where a person is constantly trying to negotiate the ongoing moral derivation between 3 intellectual constructs of interpretation (the personal vs. the cultural vs. the societal). So again with the use of found objects and paint, I try to create a montage of images which allows for stream of consciousness on the following concepts: Information access and non-access, Personal vs. cultural vs. social interpretation of events, esoteric ideas, secret societies, alienation, love, hope, dreams, nightmares, racism, sexuality, magic, the defining of high and low art. Burping I smell it rancid in my hand was a sight specific installation constructed in my studio at Cal Arts, During my first year of graduate school.

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