Grayson Perry on race and class in the US


And the link is at the top right of the page, and while you're there, you can also sign up for a range of other newsletters. Now GRAYSON Perry. This week opened an exhibition at the Victoria. Mirror Gallery in London is linked to history part documentary series Grayson Perry's Big American road trip, which is broadcast on Channel Four in the UK this month, the Artis traveled across the state on a motorbike that he designed spending time among various communities and these meetings inspired the works in ceramic and tapestry that form the show we went to the gallery to meet him. Grayson. The show's called the most specialised relationship about Britain's relationship with America or about your relationship with American to the point because it's based on the trip that you made last year in two thousand and nineteen last summer to America. To make the series, it's coming out on channel for the twenty third of September Grayson Perry's big American road trip wasn't that you wanted to go to America and use it as you'll subject matter. Well I love America of travel. They're moving anywhere I. Love doing a road trip on a motorbike which I've done before. And I've always been interested in the cultural. People now we setting people so pooh-poohed. And I kind of go something there seems to be bubbling along for quite a long time and it's A ton of territory I liked to explore. Can you define culture war in your terms I? Think it's when people get very emotionally invested in relatively niche cultural phenomenon I. Think Evolve Dan kind of grand scheme of politics they get better down in single issues. Some of which very huge say race. But a lot of the time it's over little things and I think they can former they've they distract from the grand kind of sweep politics often like I think. In America to kind of elephant in the room is kind of class. Somebody was interviewing one person. Who got edited out of the series but he said you know people have got a list of things and if you only agree with nineteen from Europe Fascist. which kind of summed up the kind of The way the coach will work. If you don't agree with people one specific theme, then they will then you are bad person it Kinda nibbles away at nuance and of course, the Internet is the perfect delivery system for a cultural. So you went to American you made three programs and roughly themed on on race one on the kind of social divides between American various issues within America in in the swing state and then these coast elite. So you zeroing in on these particular issues. When you're making a TV series, you have to have some kind of logic exposed to and race being the most historical and brutal and important conflict. In America an issue be we we couldn't go to. American. Do that. I mean people might say well as a white guy, guy into America. Off. that. Now, of course, after George Lloyd's death and the butlers massive protests because you know it was a year ago that you went to. American, actually the race program is a pretty positive. I, mean you go to Atlanta you talk about how how affluent a large proportion the black population are you go to high end black colleges and theme? Obviously there are underlying issues and precious but you know you a year ago in America in the south talking about race was quite a positive light that you gave. The thing we wanted to you know I think we I think often the subject of race comes up is Rio down you know it's always about violence and crime and racism, and we wanted to make positive program. Time obviously of stuff is gone down since then but I don't think it necessarily negates what we talked, and of course, we deal with all the share in the program. You know many of the conversations have pre. So crunchy 'cause I said to the people. When I was interviewing and I want. To have the conversation you have when there's no white people in the room. But would you reconsider now off the Butler lives matter protests death George. Floyd. Thinking maybe me as a white guy going to America's black people about race. Maybe that's not quite what I would do in retrospect. A program about the kind of cultural social issues in a minute it'd be pretty ossified didn't. Make Program about that can you imagine if I'd have gone made three par program about the coach war in America not mentioned race that would be pretty weird or involves somebody else I just I'm just interested now in the way that the whole aspect has changed so much in the last year did you did you the program so? We, put in archive footage from. So what's happened this year and we sweep the voiceover by in terms of the meat of the program is not changed at all. So what do you discover what we were kind of discovery that you made like he's going to investigate in the cultural faultlines in America and with a view to look into the UK saying this could be happening here as well. So what what did you? What did you bring back? I think the headline is is that We have. Each of us is an emotional core in who we are, how we fail how inculturated feeling from our family background from a country, our education, and then we spend a lot of time looking for things to confirm that. So, and the Internet is a perfect of system to deliver personalize bits of information that will confirm how you're feeling. And I think that is the number. Is that people want to feel validated in in how they feel whether angry about something or wherever they love something and. Online social media coach at delivers perfectly curated little menus to. The, you're never going to change your mind you're gonNA become entrenched in. And I think that that's what's happening and and we talked to kind of coach warriors on various sides. Of the divide in the program you Nevin people. They operate. In a kind of sublime bubble of. Not Talking about the cultural elite. The Martha's vineyard people seem quite hard on them. You seem to be quite quite critical than we'll let very privilege very well educated on the whole they're quite wealthy but I think that this this thing that if you vote Democrat using s enough somehow and it's nothing to do with you whereas I think that. They took their eye off the bowling of the complacency. Off The people on the left they often focused because that were very well educated. They tend to get. They think rationality all about rational until they reach the of rational scientific fact based way out of the mess. And the thing about the cultural it's not really to do with facts about feelings know the lots of crying in the in the in the. You did in the State of Wisconsin with people particularly in the rural of the farmers, the sense of people who the bikers for trump welling up all over the place. There's

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