Being of Martinique descent but born and raised in France has shaped and influenced my perception of my self-identity. This dual background has pushed me to explore the totality of social experience and fuse my two worlds in my work. While acknowledging the past, I wish to reshape the narratives and bend an association of ideas so that a black individual in a period setting is no longer synonymous with slave subservience and, by extension, does not instill fear or mistrust. She becomes the center of her own tale and hastens it forward. Creating pieces that simulate Old Masters’ techniques while incorporating Western themes implies a precontemporary creation, an egalitarian existence in a story from which the black body is painfully absent. When a work of art depicts a figure (mythical, biblical, allegorical) the narrative is identified with the help of pictorial codes. Eros would be recognized by his arrows, Psyche is associated with the butterfly, and so forth. Thus, skin color no longer dictates the story of the protagonist but transcends it. The viewer no longer ponders status; rather, representation and iconography take center stage. By generating an environment for my subjects to inhabit a space that honors their presence and place in and through culture and time allows me to redefine not only how black people have been conditioned to exist, but also how black people have been conditioned to reflect upon themselves.
Research Article|November 01 2016
Elizabeth Colomba; Reclaiming History: A Visual Essay. Nka 1 November 2016; 2016 (38-39): 196–201. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/10757163-3641865
Download citation file: