Body|Battleground is an intersectional art exhibition with a bodily autonomy focus. I sat down with River Champion and discussed the question of the burden of representation in my work and private life.
It’s a strange position to be in, to take to a stage and speak in a point of view that women of colour could relate to but also to completely reject the burden of representation in my private life. I grew up in predominately white communities and struggled to find an image of blackness that I fit into. I admired and learned from African-American culture from afar but that still didn’t represent me. This is a huge part of why I started Saharcasm. To show that these other perspectives do exist. That we come in all sizes, shapes, tones, and personalities and stereotypes will not only never be accurate but we will always fight against the uncomfortable boxes that we are often thrown into. As an individual, I reject the burden of representation because in that context – when I get on a bus, when I order dinner at a restaurant, when I cross a road – I’m not choosing to tell a story, I’m not choosing to represent anyone. However, it still affects the way that I behave.
In the video, I speak about how one can perceive another body with their own misconceptions of what a body looks like that should be like, should behave like. I’m speaking about things like racism and misogyny here. How people these misconceptions on to another body. River asked me was this a question of ownership and my lightbulb was when I drew a parallel between the physical owning of bodies in a history of slavery and the mentally owning of bodies threw putting your own misconceptions on a body that isn’t yours, very much controlling their lives through the way the world perceives them.
This was a really interesting interview. Once River started recording, I didn’t know exactly what I was going to say. You can see that in this interview where I have moments where I’m speaking. It’s a very interesting project and a topic I want to look into more. I’m very much looking forward to checking out the exhibition.
I’ll also be speaking in their panel on the intersection of “race, bodily autonomy and the art of repeal“ featuring myself, Vedanth Govi and Chamindra Weerawardhana at 7-8.30 pm on the 25th of July in A4 Sounds.
Video and event details below.
#thefutureisbrave | the body battleground exhibition launch night will be a chance to meet the artists who are fighting back and pushing their struggles with their meatsack into frame. doors 6pm
#thefutureisdecolonised | we are honored to be hosting a panel discussion on the intersection of “race, bodily autonomy and the art of repeal“ featuring sahar ali, vedanth govi and chamindra weerawardhana (tbc). 7-8.30 pm
#thefutureisshameless | join us after for a gas time with byos (bring yer own sups) tunes by our resident goth superstar caoimhe lavelle in the intimate setting of a4 sounds back yard. 9-11pm
#thefutureisaccessible | we will have a sign language interpreter and the venue is ground floor accessible for people with mobility concerns. unfortunately the venue does not have accessible toilets but we can provide an attendant to walk to the mater hospital approx 5-10 mins distance.
#thefuturevaluesart | all art will be on sale on the night with the money going directly to the artists. its a stunning body of work and you’re gonna want to buy all of it. we will also be selling our exhibition zine to help us recoup advertising costs and zines of the amazing t.o.r.c.h. collectives radical challenge to rape culture in the diy scene.
#thefutureissocialist | we are relying completely on community funding to cover our costs and we really need your support. a donation of 15 euro will get you a copy of the exhibition zine, 30 euro will get you on the “wall of acclaim” displayed prominently in the exhibition and online and 60 euro will get you an original art by a bodily battleground member. check out more at www.gofundme.com/bodybattleground
Gill O’ Shea
Antonio J. Vallejo.