Nigerian-Canadian Artist Kosisochukwu Nnebe’s latest project which is currently on display at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts as part of their Black History Month program, focuses on the identity of the modern black woman.
Speaking about her latest installation Kosisochukwu explains:
My project, m(other)nity, is a redefiniton of the concept of modernity by the Other. I wanted to examine the concept, the manner in which it intersects with race and gender and re-interpret my position within it. As a Nigerian-Canadian woman, m(other)nity becomes the ability to define oneself for oneself —to accept the inherent complexity of humanity and mankind, the existence of multiple m(other)nities that are all equally valid. I am a sister, a daughter, a student, an artist, a modern black woman and an individual. M(other)nity aims to challenge a concept that is in many ways a hegemonic cultural device and invites each individual to redefine and re-position themselves within this modern world.
The project is divided in three parts.
The first part consists of layered paintings on plexiglass that show different performances of black/African femininity and the manner in which they can fit into the concept of modernity. I wanted to visually depict modernity as a safe space that is created individually and encompasses separate elements that can be seen separately or as a whole.
The second part is a video collaboration with Dominican filmmaker Jean Jean. Short and simple, the video highlights the complexity of a concept such as modernity —especially as the parameters of race and gender are then added.
The final part is a written article entitled “The Modern Black Woman and Politics of Respectability”. Starting with a first reaction to the installation piece, I discuss the image of the black female body, the creation of a dichotomy of queen and hoe, as well as the need for a multitude of black, female narratives within the media.