The Paper Bag Test

Rosenberg Library, 4th Floor
April 28-May 6, 2016

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Artist IlaSahai Prouty invites people to write their stories and comments on a series of paper bags. Each bag has been coated with a color and printed with a word that describes skin tone.  Words from a variety of sources reflect in the construction of race, for example: Porcelain, Olive, Brown Sugar, Yellow, Fair, and Ebony.

Prouty’s personal experiences as a person of mixed decent led her to explore how we construct racial identities in part through language. She has expanded the paper bag test, originally used to distinguish ‘light’ and ‘dark’ African Americans, into a piece that asks people “to think about how we use words to describe, imply and evaluate race, to ask people to reflect on how they see their own skin tone and the skin tones of others, and to present race as a social, as opposed to scientific, construction.”

“Paper Bag Test, City College”, an interactive work by IlaSahai Prouty of North Carolina, will be at the Louise & Claude Rosenberg, Jr. Library on the main campus of City College of San Francisco.

Prouty will discuss her work at 3:30 pm, Thursday the 28th, in room V-115 (Visual Arts Building of Ocean Campus) at City College.

This exhibit and talk are sponsored by the Art Department of the City College of San Francisco, and the Louise & Claude Rosenberg, Jr. Library, to coincide with the Open Engagement Conference at the Oakland Museum.

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Filed under Art and Activism, City College Community, Cultural Studies, Fine Art

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