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Thursday, November 6, 2014

In search of Ayie...

Hello there,

It's been hectic yet at the same time I it has been great fun preparing for my solo show and I am really excited about the show, I am in the middle of setting up and so far, the works look great just being able to them all at the same time. I have a small studio and it has been quite impossible to see more than two or three works at the same time. I also decided to include my " I am not my hair" installation, last minute decision but it looks good, and after all, its a continuation of that work in a way. I look forward to seeing you between Saturday 8 November and 28 November. Here is another recording, I really feel the need to have them here so you can understand me and my work. An artist statement can only summarize them please read statement here, please read if you can. Thank you.

Hey did I ever mention I was a twin? That's us below.

Taiye and Kehinde


21:06 April 20 2014
The overall or the most obvious reaction is on identity beginning from a conscious search for an identity that has been pretty unknown for a long time. In search of Ayie...
where ar u from
where are you from
where are you from
where are you from
where are you from.

This question is ringing in my head all the time.
Questioning my father was like hitting a brick wall, and how history gets lost so easily and its sad basically everything lies with a man who died in 1972, i really want to subsume this woman but how do I do this when I have nothing, I stare at my blank canvas and knowing you know nothing does give room for many possibilities but at the same time it's a risk.

As the project grows I thought I might explore the idea of multiplicity in order words reincarnation, do i believe it, no. I don’t have a strong understanding of it that's why but why did I decide to use it? I do not believe in it, but my father does and I can’t change anything about that fact, I can’t tell him to stop saying it, hence I stand on the belief of what another says I am.

I am now a connection to his mother.
My hair is my connection to her.
Hence my picture is of her.
This way, I can fill in many gaps.

Using this, a tension has been created between her and me, how do I deal with this?
The process and time put in this work is more the art than the finished work. The audience may not see what I see, or what I feel and remember unlike me when we look at the works. I am Fixing time and memory unto a canvas.

Weaving hides, as many is hidden from me.

Why not the whole face? Its that tension that makes for that, using the whole image means I won, but I didn’t its still about her.

Where are you from?
They only ask because of my hair, what would my life be like without this hair?

The works I create are questions and made out of many series of questioning, black doesn’t mean... but black questions the emptiness, the fragilty of newsprint doesn’t mean... but questions the different the validity of the stories I have heard about Ayie. Everything on the canvas is made out of a question.

Working on a canvas and newsprint doesn’t mean... but I question the fragility of memory as time evolves.
Black- I started from a dark place of major uncertainty
Photos, photos in half, yes reincarnation but this isn't about me, tension begins, we come to an agreement, half of the face neither me or her.

But my friend visits and instantly recognizes me on the canvas, tension begins again, I wash and I rub and I brush away, did it help? You need a closer look. The image almost gets lost in the canvas, at night its lost, only in the light you see.

When I get the question where are you from, this is a question I put to Ayie too.
Location!
Location= maps

My father always had a map of Cyprus he always said she was from there, how or why that came about I don’t know. But my conversation with him assumes a different possibility. I wanted to use maps of Cyprus, I downloaded many to my computer, but the next conversation with my dad threw me off course and I began to doubt Cyprus. So I would imagine a place by drawing contours of a map from my mind while I re-live the conversations in my mind.

I kept my map reading text book from secondary school it was my bestest subject. I started to read about them again... Contours represent an actual place on ground, using contours as an idea, I create these lines and movements that represent an unknown place. The contour lines resemble veins...
The contour lines represents questions of - Where is she from?
The mirrored newsprint makes you understand the feeling of knowing something is there but you just cant make it out.
You can see something without understanding it but you know what it is,
Everytime I am in front the canvas I get lost in thought and I feel helpless as I do not know what I should do, I am very unsure and unclear and I would just sit and pace around for hours not knowing what to do, I made sketches though but the canvas was another space to conquer I struggled because I wanted to be sure on how to express nothingness, loss, if that is possible.

How many works have you made? They would ask – None
I made a sculpture marquee though, of two women one standing and the other sitting with hair larger and bigger than their form growing larger, a burden it seems
I look at them like I am not the artist and I see an identity crisis how do I say this...
I made the other sculpture I am not my hair and I see it as a continuation, weight and burden
I am not... I am not... I am not... I am not...
I am not Ayie!
Another level – the value women give to hair
Do I make sense at all

1 comment:

  1. At first I thought i was reading an article, then i thought i was reading prose; I think i just read poetry. I'd like to say i understand your story, but then who ever understands another's story like the one who tells it? We all seek for answers to these wustions, desiring to put a name and we would go all out to find this name, even if it means digging up our dead grandmother's grace to find this answer. I know this because somehow i want to know who in my ancestry i do poetry like, or dance like. Thinking and searching has just like you, standing before your canvass, brush in hand, had me sitting before my paper, pen in hand [or before my computer, fingers on keys]. We then move as our feet or hands guide us, as towards that little ball of light at the end of the cave; we may never find what we look for, but we'll keep writing, painting or dancing, albeit in hope.
    In the end we are our expressions, the memories we remember. We hold on to this faith that somehow we would wake to find our answers, or like the sleeper finds the dawn.
    ojideojo@gmail.com
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