cleave to the Black [sic] is a moving image installation and ‘a work of authentic, personal expression and evocative, atmospheric poetry’
A Borough gallery has given a south London artist £250,000 to create a work that explores “the poetics of blackness”.
The Jerwood Space and art group Film and Video Umbrella (FVU) have given the money to Michael. Born in Mitcham to Caribbean parents, Michael. used to be called Michael McLeod. He dropped his surname because of its “historical colonial context” and replaced it with a simple full stop.
His work, called cleave to the Black [sic], is a moving image installation and “a work of authentic, personal expression and evocative, atmospheric poetry”, Michael. said.
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He added: “Moving through a series of gradually unfolding transitions, in its deliberate, meditative pace, the piece celebrates slowness as a precondition of recovery and care and also as a lens through which the movements of the black body attain a distinctive state of poise and grace.”
Youth worker Michael. made the installation with the help of various black men from around London.
The other winner of this year’s Jerwood/VFU prize was Soojin Chang, who explores a “fusion of interspecies life”.
You can see cleave to the Black. in the Jerwood Space from May 7-July 23. Admission is free.