Audiences need to recognise that there are 'other' histories other than those taught and valued from the western perspectives. This trend however can continue only from a position of a widespread systematic review of the curriculum, and that cant happen without a decolonised institution. 

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.

 

DEFINITION:

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.

 

ARTIST STATEMENT

London-born, UK based Sculptor, living and working in London.

My practice exposes / articulates the black body laid bare - in traction, unencumbered; motivated by issues inherent to the African diaspora and the Black body - including issues of invisibility versus hyper- visibility, blackness and the notion of the 'body ‘politić’ - seeking an elevation of the black form. By fuelling a discussion of the irregular position of the black-artist, abstracted and marginalised in a male, pale, and stale, whitewashed art-world who seek to modify long-standing institutional narratives and negating stagnant, collective terms of reference(s); it is this ideological positioning that I hope to question within my practice, reconstructing the persisting 'outsider' status whilst scrutinising the fragile balance-power relationships.

My work explores the playful theatricality of sculpture, examining the space between objects modelling the real and its ability to usurp the ‘original’ as self-sustaining fictions.  Alongside sculptural and curatorial considerations - more specifically its critical and vital relationship with space in its pursuit of ‘presence’ - this has seen my work becoming embedded in the everyday, collective experience; presenting objects that become smaller parts of a larger installations that are explicit in their political undertones and personal narrative commentary, whilst polarised by their more covert, playful and subtle methods of installation and display. 

It is in this duality that a strict contextual change occurs - where the human anatomy is reinterpreted and transformed in a new form of hybrid realism – abstracted from its normative function to the point of the grotesque. The resulting clinical ‘dead’ look evokes a morbid curiosity that surrounds the sculpture, shifting expectations of the formal arrangement of figuration by questioning traditional self-representational practices. 

Here the insatiability of self-referential questioning births a hyper-reality in which authenticity & criticality can be located (in), presenting a welcomed opportunity to break free from reference once and for all.

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