Who has the authority to speak about a given culture?
Junkanoo Talk investigates the language of celebration through carnival. I am interested in carnival as subversive act, an outlet for parody or satire and abstraction employed in the service of cultural identity, obscuring or revealing an author. The work explores a culturally ambiguous standpoint and seeks to avoid a fetishization of the so called 'other'. Through colour and gesture I seek a near forensic way of looking, yet the viewer is systematically denied the full picture.
As part of the Bahamian diaspora, I have experienced the carnival only through mediated imagery, through first hand accounts, the internet and television. Colour is coded in a way which suggests an internal logic, the layering on of a costume comparative to the layering on of a language. At the start of the film James Baldwin is quoted, who speaks in this instance of the complexities of being an African American in France whilst the costume shown employs a technique of cutting crepe paper specific to Junkanoo, a carnival of the Bahamas.
School of Humanities
MA Contemporary Art Practice, 2017
My practice explores the form that an adequate language might take, a language which speaks to cultural identity and that which is considered culturally in between. Through moving image, writing and drawing-as-research I consider who has authority to represent a given culture and the media in which they might speak through.
I often use abstraction to question performative bodies and gestures. I work with obsolete and contemporary technologies, between film and digital recordings, re-filming and re-interrogating bodies to confront the slippages that occur when a language performs across cultures or spaces. When language/body/image falls away, becomes ambiguous or obsolete, what’s left? What’s changed?
- BFA Fine Art (First Class), University of Oxford, 2013
- Black British Shorts, ICA, 2017; UK Young Artists National Festival, Derby, 2016; Aesthetica Short Film Festival, York, 2016; The SurroundxSeenThrough, The Averard Hotel, London, 2016; Stet* (Performative Writing and Doing History), Live Art Development Agency Project, Edinburgh, 2016; Work in Progress Show, Royal College of Art, London, 2016; Common Bodies, East Street Arts, Leeds, 2015; Spaces of Radical Agency, Live Art Development Agency Project, Richmond, 2015; Logographers residency, Dart Gallery, Lancaster, 2015; Solo, Rhea Storr, Dart Gallery, Lancaster, 2014; The Tomorrow People, Elevator Gallery and Hackney Wicked Art Festival, London, 2014; Fabric of the Land, Union Square, Aberdeen, 2014; Saatchi New Sensations, London, 2013
- Shortlisted for Red Mansion Art Prize, 2013 and 2016; Shortlisted for Saatchi New Sensations, 2013; Shortlisted for The Slingsby Prize for Funnel Vision, 2013