Metaphysics is the building block of philosophy in elemental form. It is a structure for interpreting or filtering the shared world around us to expand consciousness beyond a constricted view.
Metaphysicians task themselves with what, exactly, it means for a representation to be identical to the self. Can this be? How do we account for perceptions and assumptions based on past experience, or even our own assumptions about the future? Does identity interface with linguistic or symbolic expressions? Beyond a scientific understanding of the brain and body, expression remains elusive divided between the self and other.
Staged in 2016, Metaphysical Resistant was an opportunity to play with symbol, barrier and self-representation through photography and paint. A clear glass barrier was painted by each participant with improvised and changing graphic forms, smeared and repainted over the duration of the one-hour photo shoot. Lines, circles, triangles and smears from washing left traces of the past and created absent voids blocking parts of the body. These basic forms are symbols interpreting imposed blockages. They are the space between silencing lived experience and representational image as a person of color on one hand, while, simultaneously self-authoring a protective barrier for one’s self as a form of resistance.
This large-scale color series, 30”x40”, is aligned with my own initial arrival in the United States and experiencing what felt like a restrictive metaphysical frustration with barriers or boundaries that limited my self-expression and communication, and placing these in relation to the historical experiences of other people of color in this country.