Opacity, 2021


Digital HD video (bw, no sound, loop)
20:50 min


In 1990, Édouard Glissant published the monumental text, Poetics of Relation, where he explored the concept of opacity. Glissant, born in French-occupied Martinique and raised in France, demands the right to opacity; the right to difference, and the right to not conform to singularity in identity.  Glissant states: The oppressed—which have historically been constructed as the Other—can and should be allowed to be opaque, to not be completely understood, and to simply exist as different.

Relating heavily to the words of Glissant, I filmed a performance where the viewer is an active participant and the work is opaque enough for the flexibility of opacity to inhibit them. I paint a barrier between myself and the viewer, a means to create privacy and protection, which I then immediately dissolve. The performance lasts 20 minutes, eventually getting so messy between building barriers and desiring clarity that opacity becomes the only option. 

The physical projection of the film acts as a portal or a window, allowing the viewer to become a part of the performance itself as a voyeur, a spectator. The lack of sound emphasizes space between myself and the viewer.