Fabrics

We are nobody! Not you! Remove us! Lose us!

A series of 13 portraits of black men and women losing their face as a consequence of losing their direction. They are all descendants from ancestors who have been involuntarily re-arranged during the trans Atlantic slave trade.

The portraits are sown on pages of West European history books and placed on traditional fabrics from the African continent and Suriname. In 2010 they were presented as part of the installation Lose your direction.

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Lacrimae

Lacrimae is a series of three large photo’s of black men printed on fabric. They are worked up with fabrics form the former Dutch colonies and handkerchiefs symbolizing the involuntary movement of black people during trans Atlantic slavery and the consequences for their descendants.

The black men are depicted with sown handkerchiefs ‘flowing’ from their eyes with the text: Sunt lacrimae rerum et mentem mortalia tangunt
(There are tears to setbacks and human suffering touches the heart)

The fabrics refer to the triangular Trans Atlantic slave trade where within people were traded as products. The handkerchiefs are a consolation for all the suffering and tears that were shed during slavery and colonialism. In my work I investigate Decolonial Aesthetics which asks why within Western aesthetics categories such as beauty and representation have managed to dominate every discussion about art and its value. To what extent these categories determine how we think about ourselves; white or black, high or low, strong or weak, good or bad. And how these make the contradictions of a colonial past visible. ( Walter Mignolo) The aim of my work is not to evoke feelings of beauty or sublimity but those of sadness, indignation, remorse, hope and the determination to change the future and thus create an ethical life.

Note: photo print on fabric various fabrics from former Dutch colonies handkerchiefs

Sizes 150 cm x 200 cm each