‘Do we have to tell everyone in detail what happened to us? Who’s entitled to hear those stories?’
‘They look at your document, look at you, look at your document again.’
‘All my life my body has been surveilled as different.’
‘Which of my ancestors do I want to use as my ancestral spirits?’
This sequence is a direct contrast to the previous one and suggests other questions about painting and representation that I was exploring through the whole series. There is a range of proportions as well as scale, presenting different possibilities for narrative, the emblematic and symbolic. I was exploring these possibilities within the paintings while knowing that I would be recording conversations with the sitters which could contribute to the film that I would be making: multiple forms of and for narrative.
What if I show just the face, massively enlarged? Or, on a narrow piece of paper, the side of the sitter’s hair or arms are cut off, as in some classical sculpture? How does bringing two people into the picture alter the relation between the face and the body, between the face and the person?