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Constructions


Indian in a Zoo (2007) 10 1/4" H X 12 1/4" W

This is a mixed media work that consists of mainly found objects. It highlights the ideology of placing "the other" on display as if not quite human. Images included in the framed area are of Ota Benga and Saartjie "Sarah" Bartmann, both who were exhibited as side show attractions that occurred in the early to mid 1800s.

For more information on Ota Benga and Saartjie Baartman, please click on the following links:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ota_Benga

http://abagond.wordpress.com/2008/01/25/sarah-baartman/

White Fantasies (2007) 10 1/4" H x 12 1/4" W

White Fantasies focuses on representations of white women as the ideal of beauty and how that representation imbeds itself into the minds of Indian men who have been psychologically influenced by the predominance of imagery as seen in movies and advertising. A greater part of this mindset stems from racism, class prejudice and feelings of self-worthlessness. 

 

I have decorated his room with pin up posters featuring Farah Fawcett, Rachel Welch, Bo Derek and others. I have also included a mixture of movie promotional posters with titles "The Weird Love Makers", "The Pleasure Machines", along with Red Power posters, stereotypical Indian Prayers, a few of my own family photos and a dream catcher (smile). His bed is positioned below a single bar light bulb to signify the loneliness he must feel in not being able to obtain what he so much desires.

 

I have also added a box of Kleenex at the foot of his single bed. With regards to the use of a kitsch representation of an Indian, I cast a rubber squeek toy to get the likeness of the face and handbuilt the body into a reclining position. The overall effect works to reveal the absurdity of men of colour who are engaged in having "White Fantasies."

Chief (2007) 23 1/2" H x 14" W

I found a box frame at a local second hand store and began playing around with images of whites dressed as Indians. For this piece, I focused mainly on the stereotypical pose of arms crossed over the chest to signify the Indian Chief. I started collecting vintage images of whites dressed as Indians in 2006 and I have plans on using them in more works once I get more practice at learning how to work with photoshop.

Being an artist is pretty much about learning new skills in order to better represent one's ideas visually. I am constantly on a learning mode and I spend a lot of time doing research and talking to people who understand where I am coming from.