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Free, White and 21

Howardena Pindell

Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art

Speaking directly to the camera, artist Howardena Pindell recounts her experiences of racism and sexism as a Black woman in the United States, before shifting to play the role of a white woman who claims that Pindell is “paranoid.” This groundbreaking video is a critique of both institutionalized racism and the mostly white Feminist Movement at the time. In 1972, Pindell co-founded A.I.R. Gallery, one of the first artist-run spaces for women in the United States, where the film was first shown in Dialectics of Isolation: An Exhibition of Third World Women Artists of the United States, curated by Ana Mendieta in 1980. This intensely personal and political film, whose title comes from a rebellious catchphrase often heard in Hollywood movies of the 1930s and 1940s, was a stark departure from the abstract works on paper for which Pindell was primarily known.
MEDIUM Single-channel video, color, sound, 12 minutes 15 seconds
DATES 1980
CREDIT LINE Gift of Garth Greenan
PROVENANCE By 2018, acquired form the artist by Garth Greenan Gallery, New York, NY; 2020, gift of Garth Greenan to the Brooklyn Museum.
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