No Names Please!
In addition to the series Les Eclaireurs I was commissioned by Prospects 4, the New Orleans biennial to develop a series of portraits of Southern ‘heroes’. The are printed on cotton and intertwined with the histories of (enslaved ) black people and Native Indians of Southern USA. They are embroidered with colored beads. The shiny beads refer to Native American and African embroidery but it also paradoxes as a material with the violent histories that are depicted in the portraits. They are like small shiny lotuses creating beauty within a swamp.
Embroidery is also a connotation to white women embroidering innocent images on white clean fabric made of cotton during slavery and later share cropping, while outside black men and women were doing the dirty work on the fields picking the cotton.
Embroidering the portraits and penetrating their faces with a needle stands symbol for an act of violent resistance against a dominant and fixed idea of a heroic “white” identity.
Note: printed cotton embroidered with beads, lace, wooden dowel
sizes 48cm x 38 cm
courtesy Wilfried Lentz Rotterdam
photography Tor Jonsson