*Nate Hill has made his career from attention-grabbing antics; so the fact that he is wearing a naked white woman around his neck and calling her a scarf is probably nothing new to his five thousand followers. They probably didn’t even blink when he painted his face white and stood on a Harlem street last year wearing a sign that proclaimed: “White people do not smell like wet dogs,” and pulled out a wet hair sample, which he kept in plastic in his pocket, in case you wanted to take a whiff.
But black folks are probably a little confused…especially because Hill is black.
Well, he’ll probably correct us, mixed…but he looks more black (and people on that Harlem street didn’t hesitate to let him know.)
“Trophy Scarves” is the performance artist’s latest venture, and according to Vice the project involves Nate traveling to the homes of white women, getting them naked, putting them around his neck long enough for a picture to be snapped and walla! He’s wearing them as human scarves!.
OK. We’ll get to why in a sec, but here’s a bit of history on Hill and his “work.”
Since 2008 Hill, born in Berkeley (that explains some of it!); the son of two doctors, set out on a journey to create nontraditional artwork for a targeted audience of non-gallery-going-folks. His goal was to critique topics from the traditional social infrastructure – things like racism, eating meat, etc. It works.
To date, he has received lots of attention from giving taxidermy tours of Chinatown’s garbage; donning a bear suit and hitting up strangers then taking away possessions that are associated with their bad memories. He’s tossed half-eaten cheeseburgers at pedestrians while riding a bike; and delivered fake crack to apartments while wearing a dolphin suit.
And get this: he sent a computer virus to all of his press contacts.
Oh, hell no!
Most recently, he’s been focusing on doing race-based pieces, like “White Power Milk,” in which he operates a website where you can order milk gargled by pretty, college-educated white girls.
Performance art aside, do you think this man has found a way to therapeutically work out some deeply embedded issues?
Hill argues that he is trying to draw attention to racism in general by illustrating hateful comments targeted specifically at white people.
“My mission is pretty clear — racial tolerance,” Hill told HuffPost Black Voices. “The white stereotypes are often overlooked, and I wanted to examine that. There seems to be a double standard of how racist you’re allowed to be depending on your race.”
As for “Trophy Scarves,” Hill did an interview withVice, where he explains the concept.
What’s “Trophy Scarves” about?
Well, there are people who see certain races as status symbols, and someone had to comment on that.
Is this a similar tone to what you were doing with “White Power Milk”?
Yeah. With “White Power Milk,” I just wanted to talk about how people see white women as a status symbol. With “Trophy Scarves,” I wanted to find another way to come at that. I guess it’s the same kind of satirical, tongue-in-cheek approach that I like to take with things. I like to talk about something serious but do it in a lighter, kind of a goofy way.
Read the rest of the interview with this extremely weird, yet interesting guy, here.