Offerings, tintype, heated press print, Iroko wood on black velvet support pillow. 2018 - present.
Offerings is a series of tintypes paired with fabric designs placed in wooden cases that address the relationship between historical photographic processes, colonization, modern art and Yoruba culture in the context of contemporary Transamerican African Diaspora.
The project began in 2017 when I was awarded a scholarship for people of color living in the United States to learn the wet plate collodion process. I decided then to use the historical photographic process to reclaim the medium from the 19th century colonizing gaze to produce contemporary photographic imagery made through my own lens: a Brazilian person of color living in the U.S.
Each piece refers to an Orisa of the Yoruba culture (a spiritual force of the cosmos) brought from Western African to the Americas through the slave trade. In each tintype, I portray myself offering a specific food designated to a specific Orisa. The tintypes are informed and inspired by the first years of photography. I reclaim the Victorian aesthetics to subvert its very core function when dealing with English colonies: the subjugation of its natives and imported slaves.
The fabric prints that accompany each tintype are the colors assigned to each Orisa and an abstract drawing referring to each tool assigned to each Orisa. The drawings rely on the Brazilian modern tradition of Constructivism, reclaiming western Modern Art as African Art inspired practice. On the tintypes I honor the work of Brazilian artist Mario Cravo Neto and his transcendent photographs.