Which skin colour are you? The human swatch chart
that confronts racism
In 1933, in a book called The Masters and the Slaves, the Brazilian anthropologist Gilberto Freyre wrote: “Every Brazilian, even the light-skinned, fair-haired one, carries about him on his soul, when not on soul and body alike, the shadow, or at least the birthmark, of the aborigine or the negro.” This was forefront in the mind of the French artist Pierre David when he moved to Brazil in 2009. “When I was in the streets, I could see so many skin colours”, he says. He decided to make a human colour chart, like one you would find in the paint section of B&Q shop, but showing the gradations and shades of our skin colour. The project, called Nuancier or “swatches”, was first shown at the Museu de Arte Moderna in Salvador – Bahia, and is now on show in his native France. “Brazil has a better attitude to skin colour than other developed nations”, he says. “There's no doubt, because the concept of skin colour difference was recognised very early in their history. Now, it even appears on identity documents.”
Yet Nuancier, David says, is still a critique of racism, in Brazil and around the world. “This work may seem provocative – to classify men by colour, to industrially produce the colour of an individual so it can be store-bought. But this is a demonstration of the commodification of bodies. It denounces racism anywhere it is found in the world.”
SEYMOUR, T. Disponível em: www.theguardian.com. Acesso em: 21 out. 2015 (adaptado).
O artista francês Pierre David, ao evidenciar seu encantamento com a diversidade de cores de peles no Brasil, no projeto Nuancier, também