Wednesday, 9 January 2008

Attention Philadelphia

Agnes Poitevin-Navarre is showing her seminal piece ‘Colour Coding Julien & Jasper – The Age of Innocence’ as part of the show ‘From Taboo to Icon’ at the Ice Box Project Space, Crane Arts in Philadelphia from Thursday 10th January until Sunday 10th February 2008.

You are cordially invited to private view/artist talk on Friday 1st February, from 6 until 9pm, that will coincide with the First Friday cultural event.
A more low key opening is also scheduled tomorrow, Thursday 10th January from 6-8pm.

“Colour Coding Julien & Jasper – The Age of Innocence” [two colour prints on Kodak paper, 2003-07, 1m x 0.8m]
"In these colour prints, the artist Agnes Poitevin-Navarre maps out the variations of black and white tones on two toddlers’ faces, labelling them with food terminology. In French, the mother tongue of the artist, a person of mixed black and white racial heritage is defined amongst other things as café au lait, literally coffee with milk or white coffee.

The pleasure derived from tasting, smelling, touching, looking, is lingering in the child's tongue where knowledge is swallowed, ingested, repeated. Racial categorisation doesn't yet hinder the toddler's world. The mastication of language is pivotal to ascribe a definition to the concept of the exotic and the vernacular embodied by mixed race people.

This sense of in-between-ness is a post-colonial taboo that the artist addresses through the symbolism of the land, food and language as markers of one’s identity and sense of belonging.

By outlining and labelling the various tones of pigmentation, the artist highlights the complexities of racial combination, the Theorem of the Epidermis. She poeticizes and resists the metalanguage of race, a notion that EB Higginbotham defines as “the norms in society that become not only accepted but also expected”.

Hence she playfully speculates on the terminology the next generation will be using to define their identity."


Pigtown-Design said...

I think you were the other person on her e-mail wednesday. i was supposed to meet her in Philly but she had visa problems. I will try and get up there over the next couple of weeks and report back.

HOBAC said...

I hadn't noticed, but you are right! I hope you get to see the show it looks very interesting. I really like her work (I have asked her to do my portrait) and Agnes is just so lovely!


Thanks for your [SO TRUE!] comment re: useless tat.

LOVE this Agnes you speak of!!! Thanks for opening my eyes to such fabulous work!

Easy and Elegant Life said...

Thank you. Your post is a better primer than any "diversity initiative." I'l forward it to Mrs. E who has been volunteered to serve on the committee.

Thought provoking, as all art should be.

design dna said...

i really love this and can not wait to investigate further. i have a thing for those labels, a thing for specimens. it begs you to inspect more closely. to make sure you look here, and here, and then consider the space in between. great post.

HOBAC said...

Ddna - so glad you liked it.