Between Contact: Subtleties of Whiteness

Between Contact WIP1

 

I believe my last blog post was in February, so a lot has happened since then. Needless to say, I have quite a bit of material for posts regarding my experience as an AICAD Fellow, meditations on teaching, recent influences/inspiration and recent reads. But at the moment, my work seems most important to talk about. Not too long ago, I posted on my instagram a beginning photo of a collage I am working on for a show that I am in next month:

 

Between Contact WIP2

 

This collage is one of a series titled, Between Contact. I have been working on this series since last August and it has shifted and changed in terms of form and concept, but overall, the work has revolved around the idea of negative space that surrounds, penetrates and informs the black body. I am using the term penetrate very specifically: the imagery for my collage material is sourced from black porn. However, I have eliminated the visuals of penetration between the figures because I am less interested in the over determined representation of black on black sexuality and more interested in the (in)visible ways that whiteness penetrates the reading of black bodies.

Contrary to some belief, negative space is anything but negative; it is full of meaning. That meaning, however, becomes invisible (and expansive) in light of the defined black form (arms, legs, hands). Essentially, this work is two fold: it looks at the tenderness of blackness in the merging of figures through touch, while also looking at the many shades of whiteness present within the structures in which these beings function. Hence, the name Between Contact. What is said/not said? What is visible/invisible? What is determined/over determined/undetermined? What’s the implicit presence of whiteness in the formation of blackness? How far does whiteness expand? In defined, bodily, and essentially, objective form, how is blackness limited/limitless? These are some of the questions that I hope this body of work prompts.

 

Between Contact WIP3                      Between Contact WIP4

(In progress shots of work)

 

I will be posting exhibition information soon, so keep your eyes open!

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