Rebekah Modrak’s ArtPrize Nine work, The Implicit Jacques Panis on Shinola’s Quest to Revive American Manufacturing, has been awarded a Jurors Special Recognition Award by the Fountain Street Church, an ArtPrize venue dedicated to social justice.
Modrak’s work has also been featured in recent Detroit News and Detroit Free Press articles on ArtPrize Nine.
In a reminder that art can be political, University of Michigan art professor Rebekah Modrak’s short video takes dead aim at a company that prides itself on boosting Detroit — Shinola.
‘The Implicit Jacques Panis on Shinola’s Quest to Revive American Manufacturing’ takes an existing promotional video starring Panis, Shinola’s president, and alters it to cast him in a series of colonialist guises.
Rebekah Modrak, “The Implicit Jacques Panis on Shinola’s Quest to Revive American Manufacturing”
This thought-provoking video piece is, on a straightforward level, a critique of the Shinola company’s use of its Detroit roots to project authenticity while producing watches that are wildly unaffordable for most of the city’s residents. The Ann Arbor artist uses a Shinola promo video featuring Panis, the company’s president, to whose image she adds a shifting series of animated hats, each alluding to a period of historical conquest, as a wider statement on class, oppression and appropriation.