The Chicken Is Just Dead First
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My thesis exhibition encapsulates my lived experience as a Black woman from Barbados who moved to Guelph, Ontario at eighteen. My studio and artistic research is focused on the ways that food, ritual, hair, and colonialism intersect with the Black female body. By employing the medium of performance art and research into the history of colonization, I use my body to challenge preconceived characterizations (loud, angry, aggressive) often used to define Black women. This research culminated in my MFA thesis that takes the form of performance for the camera and installation. The outcomes of my performances for the camera are as important as my deep-rooted memories they uncover, often prompting further exploration into images I create and their meanings such as for example the seemingly mundane action of washing rice. Keeping traditions (food, ritual, hair) alive through acts of image making is important to me because the videos I create echoe the oral nature of the way things have been passed down to me. The exhibition consists of three large-scale projections with my solo performances for the camera on each, featuring my body against bright, colourful backdrops. Two wall-mounted monitors display video artwork with my family, filmed in domestic environments such as my mother’s kitchen, living room, and granny’s kitchen. Lastly, several small CRT (Cathode Ray Tube) televisions are placed on the floor of the gallery displaying scenes from the East Coast of Barbados.
Cite this version of the work
Racquel Rowe (2021). The Chicken Is Just Dead First. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/16930