Cruelty’s not being able to picture a god that’s not white,
not being able to picture a god that’s a woman,
not being able to picture the Spirit as you.
Cruelty is learning at 23 that your Vagina’s not a Vagina.
She’s a Vulva.
“Pussy so good I say my own name during sex.” 1
My own body is a mystery to me.
Cruelty is googling “vulva”
and seeing white
white as norm
white as dominant
white as expectation.
In a society so often sexist and racist -
Irreverent to my existence,
“This shit is for us.” 2
The universe moves because of her.
Vegetation, coming out of the earth, rises.
My clitoris rises.
did you know she engorges?
“He (god) cut down the termite hill (her clit), and had intercourse with the excised earth. (rape)” 4
In many patriarchies they’ve ritualized her cutting
Brutalized her lips,
Fastened together what rawness is left.
Stitched flesh meant to be forced open.
“RESISTANCE IS THE SECRET OF JOY.” 5
Image making as resistance.
As resistance goes,
this isn’t enough, I know.
but for now,
this is all I have.
HE BURNED OUR DRUMS SO WE DRUMMED OUR BODIES; A DEVELOPING DEDICATION TO THE VULVA
The shadow personifies everything the ego does not acknowledge.
Whereas naturalistic images endeavor to summarize the observable or recognizable features of the physical self, conceptual images are more concerned with the essence of the subject or the metaphysical self. Aroya is an abstraction of a recognizable subject rendered in such a way as to distance it from reality while still communicating the essence of the subject.
As a Yoruba incantation puts it, the eyes will never fail to greet the beautiful. In effect from the Yuroba the beauty or affective power of a given work of art depends on good compostion and symmetry, clarity of mass, relative straightness of posture, meticulous delineation, relative luminosity and delicacy and how well the work has succeded in capturing the essence of the subject. because of its impact on the eyes the beautiful is often described as food for the eyes. An image is called awoyanu that which causes the veiwer to gape if it manifests such an incredibly high artistic skill as to suggest the use of the occult powers. This impact of the artistic and beautiful on the senses accounts for the emphasis in Yoruba culture on the use of body ornaments.
I'd Be Starved If I Ate All The Lies They Told - Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
August 9th 2019 - February 9th 2020
In Search of Our Mother's Gardens We Made Armor - Group Show