Nadia Denton's review


Not of Pure European Descent

This is an ironic piece. It is entirely white in colour but black (or African) ethnically. So white, yet so black. It seems to address the issue of how people of African descent in the Caribbean, America and Africa glorify any trace of European ancestry that they may have. The piece mocks this and shows that African features always dominate. The face being divided into two halves points to a conflict of identity. I interpret the use of the nails as firstly, to indicate the sharpness of the issue, almost like a sharp psychological pain, or the grief at the realisation that European blood in no way changes the experience of being essentially black; secondly the pattern of the nails represents a line of descendants stretching back to the original archetypes. The closed eyes on the face represent for me, the closed consciousness of such individuals.

Nadia Denton 2001.