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Pretend #2

Adrian Piper


Pretend #2 is constructed from three images of women with their young children. As in most of her work, both as a philosopher and as an artist, Adrian Piper addresses the social and economic imbalance of our world and the issue of racism. In the central image a Caucasian mother smiles proudly, looking straight into the camera. She seems unaware of the anguish of the African mother at the left or the Asian mother at the right. The silkscreened text across the bottom, “Pretend not to know what you know,” connects the three images and forces the viewer to contemplate the frequent denials we choose to make to lessen the pangs of conscience.
MEDIUM Gelatin silver prints with silkscreened text
DATES 1990
DIMENSIONS overall: 43 7/8 × 98 in. (111.4 × 248.9 cm) frame (A): 44 1/8 × 22 × 1 3/4 in. (112.1 × 55.9 × 4.4 cm) frame (B): 44 1/8 × 35 1/8 × 1 3/4 in. (112.1 × 89.2 × 4.4 cm) frame (C): 44 × 31 1/2 × 1 3/4 in. (111.8 × 80 × 4.4 cm)  (show scale)
CREDIT LINE Purchased with funds given by the Daniel and Joanna S. Rose Fund
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CAPTION Adrian Piper (American, born 1948). Pretend #2, 1990. Gelatin silver prints with silkscreened text, overall: 43 7/8 × 98 in. (111.4 × 248.9 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Purchased with funds given by the Daniel and Joanna S. Rose Fund, 1991.51a-c. © artist or artist's estate (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 1991.51a_PS2.jpg)
IMAGE component, a, 1991.51a_PS2.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2009
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