Schmidt, Cecilie Ullerup, No Count! BIPoC Artists Counteracting ‘Fair’ Representation and Systemic Racial Loneliness in Higher Education in the Arts, Journal of Aesthetics & Culture, 14.1 (2022), 2046956
Art in public space is fundamentally determined by who has access to the artworld. At the entrance to the artworld of today—the art academy—resides an ideal of global mobility that relates to cognitive capitalism and competitiveness but also to the repeating of rationales of white privilege and a hidden structural racism. By analysing how Higher Education in the Arts in Denmark awards “free” mobility and encourages internationalization, following the neoliberal European policies of the Bologna Process in their aim of competitiveness while at the same time having no official strategies in relation to racial diversity and recruitment, I find biopolitical lines of demarcation and structural racism within the foundational infrastructures of the Danish artworld. Based on the findings of my analysis of both educational policy documents and understandings of “fair” representation of BIPoCs in the arts in Denmark, I demonstrate how racial loneliness resides as an affective response to experiences of structural racism in the infrastructures of the arts. I suggest that racial loneliness is an interdependent affect and a product of educational documents, reforms and policies. This assumption is accompanied by the example of the artists’ collective FCNN, stressing how BIPoC student Eliyah Mesayer is isolated and subjected to tokenism in the classroom of the art academy. Informed by the increasing number of separatist BIPoC collectives offering an ongoing infrastructural performance of being “too many”, the article ends with a speculation on how to organize bodies otherwise in the infrastructures of the artworld by exceeding rationales of reasonable and adequate representability.