Anique Jordan, Work from the Darkie series, 2018. Courtesy of the Artist.

Anique Jordan, Work from the Darkie series, 2018. Courtesy of the Artist.

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Anique Jordan, Work from the Darkie series, 2018. Courtesy of the Artist.

Anique Jordan, Work from the Darkie series, 2018. Courtesy of the Artist.

Work from the Darkie series

Sited on 2 billboards along Expo Boulevard in Northeast False Creek, Vancouver

Anique Jordan’s practice employs the theory of hauntology, which suggests that elements from the past – ideas, trauma, memories – will persist in the present and into the future, as in the manner of a ghost. Her work spans performance and photography, mining historical archives while negotiating the possibilities of reimagined futures. Jordan focuses on examining the ways in which histories affect our bodies, particularly in relation to Black women. In these works from the Darkie series, Jordan turns her camera on her own body, acting as both photographer and subject while simultaneously obscuring and celebrating her corporeal form. Both images feature part of her legs presented against a stark white background, and in one photograph, a single braid drops into the picture plane. In presenting her nude body as a work of art, the artist raises questions around invisibility, generational trauma, and the grief suffered by and violence perpetrated against Black bodies in a contemporary context.

Jordan’s work points to the complicated lived experience she negotiates. About this series, Jordan states: “I am reminded that so much artwork is haunted – not by searching to represent an idealized form or idea, but patronized by what cannot be represented…It feels like I have to sit and try to understand this series again within the context of the current uprising…within the context of trying to find the balance between armour, protection, vulnerability and love…I am actively striving to find a place where that same body can still be vulnerable, fragile, soft, happy…all of the things a body can’t be when it feels like it’s always at war.” Through displaying these images at a large scale in a space traditionally used for advertising, Jordan offers her presence in the world. The work is at once a celebration of her form, a reminder of its power, and a provocation to consider the reality she experiences daily.

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