Combining Minimalism, Conceptualism and Performance Art, she has worked since about 1970 to force viewers into an unbearable awareness of their personal complicity in what she views as a pervasively racist, xenophobic and unjust system.
In Cornered consists of a video located in the corner of a room. In front of the monitor is a long table resting on its side. With its legs pointing out from the corner, it functions as a barrier.
Piper herself sits demurely at a desk backed into a corner and explains with unflappable, schoolmarmish composure that most Americans are, like her, genetically black, even if their physical appearance seems to say otherwise. The artist’s monologue, delivered in an intimate, personal style presents the viewer with a master lesson in logic.
She also provocatively suggests that such attitudes and behavior actually create race as a perceptual category and that that category, however illusory, reinforces hierarchies of socioeconomic power and exclusion.