Using sculpture, video, installation and performance, my work investigates the construction of power politics as both an authoritative structure and an abstraction. My process starts by gathering conceptual information, mostly from colonial/post-colonial theory, philosophy, gender studies and art history. Inspired by but not bound to these texts I weave elements of personal narrative with theory.
Before I continue, I would like to state several ideas I perceive to be absolute truths. First, As humans, we all want recognition, power, and agency. Second, we are all affected and identified by our cultural group personae. Third, discourse articulation is inherently problematic. It is used as a way to establish difference in order for a particular cultural group to become acknowledged as the ‘natural’ order, to displace the current holder of the position.Fourth, all discourses are totalizing systems because they engage with the cultural group identity, lumping together multiple individual nuanced entities. They need to be totalizing to serve its function of hegemonic displacement. Finally, their has not been a discourse that encompasses the cultural group labeled as black/brown/colored women ( I am speaking specifically about these women that exist within the American and Caribbean context).
The primary discourses that they/we/I could fit into are ‘Feminism’ and ‘Black Liberation’ movements. They/we/I do and have not fully been articulated within either of these spaces. ‘Black Liberation’ theories, while giving the perception that “black” is inclusive of both male and female, actually focus on the black male as sole agent and his agenda to gain equal citizenship with the white male allowing him to fully participate within the capitalist system and equally gain the benefits of said system. While feminism, is focused on the white female, using liberalism to negate the experiences of non-white females.
My current work focuses on this point of realization. When a discourse, which was never meant to explain our/my individual existence but they/we/I for lack of choice became a participant in, no longer serves us/me. Is it possible to assert your agency while acknowledging inherent antagonism? Is it possible to do so while not participating in hegemonic practices? Or create a non-totalizing identity structure? How can I use my art practice to investigate these concerns? They affect not only the development of my art practice but how I conceptualize my existence in the three dimensional world.