What is the black body politić?
An exploration of self; of collective people, nations, ideologies. It is by no means an easy question to answer.
The term refers to the practices and policies through which powers of society regulate the human body, as well as the struggle over the degree of individual and social control of the body. The powers at play in body politics include institutional power expressed in government and laws, disciplinary power exacted in economic production, discretionary power exercised in consumption, and personal power negotiated in intimate relations
The definition of politić - or pɒlɪtɪk/ - is an allegorical termed used to characterise the people of a nation, state, or society considered collectively as an organised group of citizens. Politić therefore becomes a metaphor that likens a nation state to a mental corporeal, which has undoubtedly had serious historical repercussions throughout colonial history, especially in its applicability to the conditions of slavery.
Whilst the comma - removed from its normal function - is substituted in this usage, transforming the words traditional spelling, this also becomes a deliberate attempt to show plural possession; or collective dispossession. Hence, the extended term of body politić has, in recent history, been applied to the several mythologies surrounding the black body as constructed in traditional media; referring to the simultaneous manifestation, consumption and dispersal of the black body - both online and IRL (in-real-life) - by both people of colour and their white counterparts. In its relationship to questions of power, hierarchy and undoubtedly race, this includes imagery directly related to or depicting black bodies and the presumed dimensionality of ‘blackness’, especially in its direct relationship to ‘whiteness’ in Western territories.
On this topic, Ian Bourland in Looking Back Towards a Black Body Politic (2017) contemplates the historical way in which black bodies are represented and, indeed, by whom in the contemporary as a crucial factor in the evolving body politić.
Rayvenn Shaleigha D'Clark is a London-born, UK based sculptor, living and working in Central London.
In recent years her work has begun to explores the 'playful' theatricality of sculpture, with an extended analysis of the material quality of sculptural objects in a larger discussion of ‘Objecthood’, She increasingly analyses the characteristics of art-making following the affirmation of media, examining the kinds of ‘conversations’ that arise as a result of such critical questioning, and an attempt to make art that actually speaks of the unusual position of the socio-political climate in which we mature as both artists and individuals.
Her oeuvre exposes the black body laid bare – in traction, unencumbered, motivated by issues surrounding the black body - gendered or otherwise - fuelling a discussion of the irregular position of the black-artist who remains abstracted and marginalised in a male, pale, and stale, whitewashed art-world. This has seen her work becoming embedded in the everyday, collective experience. In the presentation of larger installations - engendering the creation of objects that are explicit in their political undertones and personal narrative commentary, whilst polarised in their more covert, playful and subtle methods of installation and display.
Currently working out of Chelsea UAL, as her body of work progresses she is becoming more concerned with the idea of the sculptural format as a mechanism to examine the space between objects modelling the real and its ability to usurp the ‘original’ as self-sustaining fictions & the critical questions that arise from such figurative practices and processes.
Alongside personal, independent projects, since graduate from her bachelors degree in July 2017 Rayvenn has been actively building her portfolio and CV, which includes an ongoing collaboration with MiAL (Made in Arts London) as well working, collaborating and exhibiting in a number of group shows nationally and internationally. This has also seen Rayvenn become a regular panel presenter / speaker at a number of events throughout 2018.
As of October 2017 she progressed onto a one-year MA in Fine Art at Chelsea College of Arts (UAL) - with the aim to go on to complete a PhD - having previously successfully completed a 3-year BA in Fine Art and a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design from Central Saint Martins three years prior.
Similarly, she also an Associate Artist for Fevered Sleep, works as a Content Developer for Shades of Noir, as well as plays an active role in generating written content to various online film/news outlets including HorrorFilmUK, Close-Up Film and ShowFilmFirst.