Magazine article Dance Magazine

Jones: Race a Factor in Croce's 'New Yorker' 'Victim Art' Article

Magazine article Dance Magazine

Jones: Race a Factor in Croce's 'New Yorker' 'Victim Art' Article

Article excerpt

New York City- The debate over "victim art" reached a new level when choreographer Bill T. Jones, in a public event at the 92nd Street Y, suggested critic Arlene Croce's attack on his work may have been fueled by racial ignorance and also said that Jews control the New York media.

Croce wrote in the New Yorker last winter that she would not see Jones's Still/Here because it was an expression of "victim art," which she considered impossible to review.

Croce wrote that Jones's work was "a messianic traveling medicine show," a remark Jones referred to at the Y. "Does she know what the black church means in terms of the philosophical life? Would she say that some Jewish choreographer is Talmudic?" he asked. "No, she probably wouldn't." Expanding his judgment to include the entire New York media, Jones added, "Quite frankly the people controlling the media are Jewish. So they understand [the work of Jewish artists]." Croce is not Jewish.

The comments came at a wide-ranging public conversation with Dance Magazine contributing editor and Village Voice critic Deborah Jowitt, followed by a question-and-answer session with the audience. Jones also discussed his work, his autobiography, and his roots. The 92nd Street Y is a Jewish organization.

Jones said of Croce: "People like her are still secretly waiting for this liberal weakness to pass, when we see that not all cultures are equal, and this is a weakness on the part of the funding agencies that has let in a person like this one, [who is] inferior. …

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