Slow Thinking | Flower Bringing
Considered by many to be one of the most important contemporary African artists of recent years, Wangechi Mutu is a Kenyan-born, New-York based artist known for her elaborate collaged works on pieces of Mylar and sculptures. Her work boldly explores the contradictions of female and cultural identity, race, colonialism, and sexual identity just to name a few. Constructing collages using fragments from fashion and travel magazines, pornography, African art books, images drawn from science fiction as well as hand-drawn and painted elements, Mutu’s work is filled with provocative juxtapositions of the female body. With these collages, she draws the viewer into conversations about the eroticization of women’s body, particularly African women. Mutu observers that, “Females carry the marks, language and nuance of their culture more than the male. Anything that is desired or despised is always placed in the female body.”
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When Michael Sam kissed his man on national television and Derrick Gordon and Jason Collins both revealed white boyfriends hundreds, if not thousands, of black gay men turned to their copies of, ‘Brother to Brother’ longing to call Joseph Beam, himself, down from the ancestral realm. “If only black men didn’t internalize white supremacy they would find beauty in their faces and reflection,” remained the similar sentiment. This summer several black men have been stolen from us by the hands of white men, and the outcry is nowhere as loud. Where is all the poetry about black men loving black men is a revolutionary act? Are (publicly established) straight men not our brothers because they won’t provide a future Facebook relationship update? If we will not mourn the men, because we are taught to love parts of the whole: will we at least mourn the loss of dick? The beautiful black dick we no longer can hold and protect from white men? How many inches have been shot flaccid this summer? Where will we drink when the national drought on black semen is officially announced? How many pounds of cake have been left out in the rain? Tell me, will we ever have these sweet recipes again? Will we be able to take it?
Samuel R. Delany, “The Tale of Plagues and Carnivals,” in Flight from Nevèrÿon (via smallbutviciousblog)