Posts Tagged ‘David Batchelor’


Chromophobia and the Illusion of White

April 11, 2008

In Chromophobia, the central argument of artist and writer David Batchelor is that a societal fear of corruption or contamination through color permeates Western culture. Opening with the example of a visit to a fetishized ultra-white modernist house, he concisely sets up the idea of a dominatingly oppressive whiteness.

This great white interior was empty even when it was full, because most of what was in it didn’t belong in it and would soon be purged from it. This was people, mainly, and what they brought with them. Inside this great white interior, few things looked settled, and even fewer looked at home, and those that did look settled also looked like they had been prepared: approved, trained, disciplined, marshaled. Those things that looked at home looked like they had already been purged from within. In a nutshell: those things that stayed had themselves been made either quite white, quite black or quite grey. This world was entirely purged of color. (11)

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