THE HANDBOOK

 

The Handbook is a series of works, happenings, and a literal handbook (at the moment). This derives from the idea of creating an unhelpful handbook around coping with radicalism, but more importantly, that is made with and for bipoc. For this project, I have taken on board the structure and framework of a handbook to explore the intricacies of race and racism. Below consists of a blog with relevant material to this project, which companies the current chapters of The Handbook.

As of the time of me writing this, Racial Gazes is the only chapter that consists of finished works. The rest is still in draft form. 

RACIAL GAZES

 

I'm sorry, but why are you coming for me and not my ideas.

17/06/2020

 

For the purposes of grading, I've included this statement. This is not apart of the work and will not be present in the making of any publications or presentations.

I'm sorry, but why are you coming for me and not my ideas is currently a series of three pages, consisting of one tricolour film image. Each page is made out of recycled assignments, research, test prints, and guidelines of the past three years (my undergraduate). The pages are made through the pulp paper process, in which I rip up these document, blend it, and mix into a bath of water. These pages consist of essentially a mesh of any evidence of my academic years. what exists on these pages are images that were made with a black and white film, which have gone through the tricolour process. This was an exploration in mechanisms of slowness, in order to re-experience the racialised events that occurred in these spaces with a deeper connection to my "black consciousness"in making and in healing. 

Overall, I'm particularly interested in the relationship that exists in the "assignmentising" of experiences and the ways in which "the studio culture" impacts the making of work; and the potential reality for that work to become racialised.

Slowness - can be broken down of ways in which I purposefully slow down a particular process and work through mindfulness strategies, for internal balance and clarity.

Racialised events - encompass the spectrum of microaggressions to microaggressions, race in regards to my identity becomes questioned and critiqued and not the ideas of race as a concept.

Black consciousness - is discussed by Ruth Wilson Gilmore, in how black experiences are not singular they transform into a holistic consciousness. This an everyday paradigm that is moulded by the community and their intersectional experiences. 

Assignmentising - is the way in which we take a particular idea, narrative, experience, or concept and mould it into the criteria, languages and taught behaviours of an academic assignment.

Studio Culture - is the social and cultural behaviours that exist in the arts education environments. 

 

STAIRWELL_edited.jpg

I'm sorry, but why are you coming for me and not my ideas,

page 1,

June 2020

500 mm x 400 mm

inkjet print on recycled paper

LEVEL%204%20FOYER_edited.jpg

I'm sorry, but why are you coming for me and not my ideas,

page 2,

June 2020

500 mm x 400 mm

inkjet print on recycled paper

STUDIO%204_edited.jpg

I'm sorry, but why are you coming for me and not my ideas,

page 3,

June 2020

500 mm x 400 mm

inkjet print on recycled paper

These damn thumbtacks

21/06/2020

 

These damn thumbtacks

sit alongside I’m sorry but why are you coming for me and not my ideas.

 

This is not a spoken word event. I will not be conditioning myself to alternative ways of communicating so that I’m more palatable.  All I'm doing is talking so let's talk about this.

 

Not too long ago I was talking to someone about catalyst events. They are moments in my life that remind me of my position in society. And I'm not going to claim that I'm a woman of colour or claim that I'm white, those terms have been so fluctuant and so sensitive to me for so long. My whiteness and my blackness comes through in moments that I decide and I dictate. However, the world has systems in which it provokes me. it provokes my whiteness and my blackness which are terms that the world and systems around me decided to designate my attitudes. But I digress in saying that this is how I described those catalysts events.

 

Every day I stand on a thumbtack, and by the time I see it it's too late and I’ve already stood in it. And I’ve had it for the day. I let the people around me know, shit I stood in a thumbtack and my foot is fucking sore.

And the next day I wake up and I've forgotten the bruise of the thumbtack until I start walking again. And I carry on with my day, just remembering the thumbtack like an itch on the side of your leg. But I don't talk about it was yesterday's news.

Until the next day, I stand in another thumbtack and this one was stuck in my shoe, someone put it there. And the cycle continues these thumbtacks arrive in different places in different days, in which I do not see them until it's too late.

For me I know I'm lucky in the scope of thumbtacks, they’re quite small thumbtacks and for the most part, I don't stand on knives and bear traps, they don't kill me. And say because overtime I don’t really talk about them anymore yes my feet have gone numb but I still get to walk. My family also stands on thumbtacks occasionally they'll stand on bear traps. so yes we are shocked that people would put so many thumbtacks around and it's not a matter of us walking around them they location change every day. But also who the fuck is putting out thumbtacks, like why. What’s going on here who said it's ok to do that

 

But I assume everybody has those thumbtacks that remind them of their position in society.

 

Am I frustrated by the idea that I’ve reduced repetitive disruptive racial behaviour down to a thumbtack, well yes. But yall don’t seem to get the point otherwise.

 

My microaggression fantasy

27/05/2020

 

 

I have this dream of walking down Karangahape road and walking past a white individual or enter a particular arts space that has been historically populated with white individuals. To hear a "white person" say "art is just not what it use to be". A comment directed to an artwork or a person that is unapologetically black. That this black being has not assimilated or moulded itself into the white standards of what constitutes real critical art. Yes, this is a very clear microaggression, but it's one I don’t mind. It right now in my life would be a compliment. Why because it means that white ideas of art are no longer dominant, they simply sit next to various multidimensional discourses and actions of art-making from non-white experiences and ideas.

 

What I find interesting about this dream is that it’s a paradox.  The way I see it, the only way for us to be unapologetically black in these spaces requires an active interrogation of culture that exists these spaces. It means that those who occupy it would have to engage in this interrogation and invest how these spaces have become racialized. And when that happens, microaggressions like this won't even be a topic of discussion, because everyone in that space regardless of their race, understands the complexities of race dynamics and how the concept of race itself is detrimental to everyone.

 

So essentially this fantasy of mine will never happen, either because no one undertakes understanding race and bipoc will never be able to be unapologetically black, or everyone does invest and the idea of making such a comment is so foreign to their thinking. Like, imagine even the word foreign won't have associations with race, instead, we understand the word foreign to be ideas that are not familiar to us.

 

 

Drafts 

This is a combination of thought pieces and experiments that are still finding its place in the project 

Collective learning

its a series of experimental exercises that myself and the mva group tried out, as a way of maintaining connection over the online classes. below is a questionnaire, to help us unpack ideas that exist in old and current works, to gain some kind of holistic scope of our practice.

 
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List of writings

below is a list of writing that I'm currently working on, a lot of them are personal stories, which I'm not entirely convinced by how they would operate as "artworks" just yet. And at the same time, I don't want to condition them in a way that's not true to what I'm wanting to discuss. I'm very aware of the fact that I'm in some way trying to decolonise what I've been taught as appropriate writing mechanisms (poetry, creative writing, essays, reviews, etc.). So, for now, I will just show the title, before its up for public viewing. 

 
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THE HANDBOOKS BLOG