Contorted is a study I conducted in collaboration with dancer/contortionist Conway October, who refers to the art form as ‘Flexpression’.
The investigation, on the surface, is bound in the study of light responding to the contorted human form, the response of skin tone to light exposure and the emergence of form from a darkened backdrop to the fore of frame. A more conceptual study in regard to this work is concerned with metaphors rising from the landscape of South Africa, its politics and its people.
Light: referring especially to the conditions that black and brown South Africans are subject too due to violence suffered due to past injustice that still persist despite strides taken to abolish inequality. Light exposes, reveals and seeks form out in order to present it to the viewer in a manner imposed by the photographer. The circumstances under which black and brown bodies are revealed to the world in relation too accepted and dominant perceptions to which they find themselves subject, coincide with the function of light within this study.
Contortion: concerned with the disproportionate manner in which these people still find themselves wanting, in postures and positions to locate themselves in proximity to whiteness. Again, on the surface all looks polished, resolved, intact; but an invitation to look a little closer reveals an unexpected abrasiveness.