Logótipo Próximo Futuro

A artista nigeriana Toyin Odutola em entrevista: raça, representação e inspiração

Publicado19 Mar 2015

Etiquetas Toyin Odutola; Nigéria Representação Raça

Toyin Odutola é uma artista nigeriana que se radicou nos Estados Unidos, residindo actualmente em Nova Iorque. Enrevistada pela curadora Ashley Stull, fala do seu percurso e influências, abordando os temas de raça, representação e inspiração. 

Ashley Stull -You've fairly recently moved to New York after significant periods in Nigeria, Alabama and California. Is this home now? How did you make that decision and how has it affected your studio?

Toyin Odutola - I never would have imagined I'd end up in New York. The concept seemed beyond me, because when you claim that address there is something very official about it, like "I'm a professional now." The crazy trajectory of homes that led me to New York all informed me in ways that precipitated the jump. I have no idea how long I will stay, but being in the city has changed me immensely. You have access to such a diversity of culture (and so much of it) that it inexorably comes into the work. For instance, I never would have imagined that I would create an eight feet long charcoal and pastel drawing, but that happened this year with LTS IX (2014). I’ve also made a ballpoint and marker pen drawing that's sixty-six inches tall, Rather than look back, she chose to look at you (2013). That's what New York is all about: scale. Things get more ambitious, you take more risks, you invest more time—because the city demands that of you.

AS- How did you arrive at ballpoint pen? It communicates dark tones beautifully, but what works about it so differently from other materials—like charcoal? I know you also work in charcoal and marker, but pen seems born out of something interesting I hope you can unpack.

TO- I came to ballpoint pen with a need to render how skin felt like to me. It's a tool that seems to translate more empathetically what I was trying to portray… skin as a striated terrain, and in a broader sense, the concept of a portrait as a platform for creating a sense of place. The sheen is the key. When I press the pen into the surface of paper, board or wood, a sort of engraving is taking place, akin to the process of printmaking. The magic of viscous fluid is that the darkest areas, the relief-like marks, also become the lightest areas by simply changing one's point of view. Light and shadow play are what make the pen and ink interactive. I have worked with graphite and charcoal and all are successful in their own way, but there is something very singular about the viewing process of pen ink that sets it apart from the others.

It's incredibly inspiring conceptually, and over time the ballpoint pen has been the driving force for a number of explorations.

A entrevista completa, na Bomb Magazine

"Ananiya the Revolutionist", de Milumbe Haimbe

Publicado28 Jan 2015

Etiquetas banda desenhada Representação Mulher africana

Milumbe Haimbe, artista nascida na Zâmbia em 1974, distinguida com o Prémio Blachère Foundation, é autora de Ananiya the Revolutionist, um trabalho que apresentou na Bienal D'art 2014. Ananiya, a heroína, é uma jovem negra de 17 anos que faz parte de um movimento de resistência à operação de uma mega empresa para a criação de um robô que corresponderia à "mulher perfeita". Entre a novela gráfica, a banda desenhada, a pintura e o design digital, este trabalho questiona as fronteiras de género e as formas narrativas e representacionais estabelecidas, abordando a questão dos modelos sociais femininos, em particular no contexto africano.

Haimbe digitally paints in 15 panels a dark and conformist dystopian world. There she deals with issues such as gender politics, representation and racism and in it Freja comes in only one model: she is caucasian, blonde, green-eyed, thin, with a perky set of breasts, a brazilian wax job and is branded with the conglomerate’s logo.  In Ananiya’s near future the complex, varied and unpredictable human woman is deemed obsolete and slated to be culled.

When I spoke with Ugochukwu-Smooth C. Nzewi, a co-curator of the exhibition where the series was shown, he described the project as “a great woman narrative” that resonates on numerous levels, particularly in light of the dearth of black, female, and genderqueer heroes. He remarked “This is Africa saving the world. It’s like the classic case of ‘The Empire Writes Back’!”

Ananiya the Revoluntionist is an instance of art’s capacity to re-imagine identity. Like Nzewi, emerging artist Bogosi Sekhukhuni explains why a re-imagining of self, particularly within the paradigm of the hero can be powerful.

Representation of women including their exclusion in media is an ongoing issue around the globe. Narrow portrayals and omissions illustrate the proverbial pink elephant in the room:  they are a barometer on whose voices apparently don’t matter within a society.

Looking at the Hollywood spectrum of things, the parity reality is grim. As of 2013 a survey on on-screen representations indicated that female roles only made up 15% of protagonists, 29% of major characters, and 30% of all speaking roles in the top 100 films of that year. Furthermore of those female characters, 14% were African American, 5% Latina, 3% Asian and 3% otherworldly, the majority of 74% were Caucasian.

Texto de Missla Libsekal completo, em Are There Superheroes That Look Like You?