photo 2.JPG

"Unmirrored"
40" x 48" 

Oil pastels and acrylic. "

"So long unmirrored we have forgotten how we look". Ever since I read it, this quote has been stuck in my head. "Unmirroring" represents the struggle of black female subjectivity against the distortion of the dominant culture. It is losing sight of ones self following a lifetime of objectification and misrepresentation. The simplest way I could think of visualizing that feeling was to take a photo that I had commissioned and posed for, and distort it. The piece explores both the act of posing —the curated self— and the distortion that nonetheless occurs.

Special thanks to Montreal-based Spencer Edwards for the original photograph. 



PART I

The first part consists of layered paintings on plexiglass that show different performances of black/African femininity and the manner in which they can fit into the concept of modernity. I wanted to visually depict modernity as a safe space that is created individually and encompasses separate elements that can be seen separately or as a whole.
 

PART II

The second part is a video collaboration with Dominican filmmaker Jean Jean. Short and simple, the video highlights the complexity of a concept such as modernity —especially as the parameters of race and gender are then added.

PART III

The final part is a written article entitled “The Modern Black Woman and Politics of Respectability”. Starting with a first reaction to the installation piece, I discuss the image of the black female body, the creation of a dichotomy of queen and hoe, as well as the need for a multitude of black, female narratives within the media.