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The Implicit Jacques Panis on Shinola’s Quest to Revive American Manufacturing

Rebekah Modrak's avatar Rebekah Modrak

This work is a rectified readymade made by painting on an existing promotional video, “Jacques Panis on Shinola’s Quest to Revive American Manufacturing.” The source video shows a day-in-the-life of Shinola President Jacques Panis. The company Shinola sells $800 watches that they falsely claimed were "made in Detroit." Shinola’s name is “a nod” to the shoe polish company that promoted their product using caricature of blacks. The contemporary white-owned Shinola uses images of black workers in full-page ads in the NY Times as proof of the company's authentic Detroit identity. The original “Quest” video enforces a problematic representation of labor and race by showing Panis, white investors, and coaches as managers of black bodies. Detroit is the playground for these activities and the scene of conquest. To expose these coded dynamics, the altered video shows Panis choreographed in a succession of hats revealing the historical implications of hierarchy and power in each scene.

Entry Details
  • Art form: Time-Based
  • Depth:
  • Medium: Video
  • Width:
  • Year created: 2017
  • Height: