Black on Black: SECCA opens exhibition on black identity and the black body at a tense and opportune time | Arts & Theater


“Black @ Intersection” brings together the works of 25 artists, including Cyrus himself.

A significant part of the exhibition consists of portraits and related works that depict black figures in a range of roles, most often as heroes, martyrs and / or fighters against racial and social oppression.

Dark-skinned androgynous young characters take on the roles of comic book superheroes in Wolly McNair’s graphic inkjet portraits. Five of these images are displayed in frames inside the main gallery of SECCA, and four were enlarged to the scale of a billboard on the exterior front walls of the gallery as heralds of the ‘exposure.

McNair’s boldly colored idealized figures are accompanied by sci-fi props and symbolic birds. The central theme of the show is metaphorically taken up in the title of one of its plays – “Black magic is only bad in the movies”.

In a related vein, but in a more realistic style, are Sloane Siobhan’s four mixed media paintings of black boys and girls, each of which seems to exist simultaneously in the ordinary and everyday world and the parallel world where they possess magical powers. . “Neith and the Ouroboros”, whose subject’s eyes are all white and whose neck is encircled by a snake biting its tail, are particularly haunting.

Destinie Adelakun dressed her young female subjects in African-inspired royal costumes to create most of her carefully staged color photo portraits. In the one titled “Crown of Oya,” however, she appropriated a golden-hued Aztec calendar to serve as the subject’s halo-shaped crown.


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