a l a n a j e l i n e k

Originally, www.alanajelinek.com was used as the portal for artwork:

a   d i a r y   o f   r a c i s m
me - you - them

... and it remained that way until 2005 when this website became an archive of artwork.

me - you - them
remains the only web-specific artwork, though a number of documentation-as-artworks exist in digital form only.

me - you - them
was hosted on a now defunct website called deardiary.net and was an early intervention into online diaries (early blogs).

It was a response to two things:
1) the narcissistic and trivial tone of many of the online diaries written at the time and the challenge to turn such a mundane vehicle into an artwork
2) the challenge set by fellow artists at the time that all (political) artists should be online and not making physical or tangible objects

is an artwork that took 3 years.

It took me a few years to build up the confidence to make this kind of work.

From June 30 2001 until June 30 2004, I recorded every instance of racism that I encountered. I recorded racism I observed as a 'bystander'. I also recorded racism I encountered as a victim. Though normally this is very painful, during the process of this work, that category was by far the easiest for me to write. And I recorded those actions and thoughts of mine which are racist.

At the time I wrote me-you-them: a diary of racism, I introduced the project like this:

Racist actions affect me both as a victim and as a perpetrator. It is with honesty and meticulous care to my truth that I am trying to record this diary.

Over the course of this project I record my own racist thoughts, conscious or barely conscious, and the actions of individuals around me.

The parameters of the project also include media racism or racism on TV or newspapers. I believe this has as much an effect on my life as a direct or personal encounter and therefore should be included. Over time, I chose to watch less and less news on TV and never read newspapers, regardless of their "quality" or politics, because media racism in the news is daily and constant and I didn't want that to be the focus of this artwork.

There is no fiction in the site - except for the sense that any narrative where a life is framed is fictive. I am trying to be honest and open, as difficult and ugly as that may be at times. I don't think I have lost any friendships, but I know it has been difficult for friends and people I love. No one I know likes to have their actions or words understood in terms of racism, including me.
Even when it's true.

me - you  - them

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