hue-men (in)security / doomed in light!

2011 (installations)

Hue-Men [In]Security is a project with elements of interactive video, photography, sculpture, sketches and sound installations. The over-arching theme reflects on the subtle ambiguity of information with regards to the language of colour(hue), love and [In]Security that often colonises hue-men [un]consciously. Born from our conditioned states with respect to the other; The other colour(hue), race, class, creed, gender, blood-line…etc.
This goes unquestioned and the status quo, deemed as acceptable, serves high culture and constitutes this as a motive for its institutionalization
The project questions the existing status quo as well as it plunges beyond the surface of institutionalized hue-men shades and [In]Security norms.
As long as humans have existed, there has always been a craving of belonging shared by individuals who perceive themselves as a group forming different levels of societal organization; from minute families to the global community of hue-men (shades or colour of men). That which was closely related to colour, tribe, gender and status lines have been even more accentuated with the multiple ideological thought patterns emphasized by increased forms of communication and information technologies in the world; Innate or acquired? This condition increasingly tends to accentuate minor differences rather than the bulk of similarities that lye beneath the surface. Different levels of classification which might be intended to ensure security of one group over the other (deemed dangerous) and might be contradictory when we ask whether we are really scared about the other or a reflection of our selves. A fair observation of this would place light as something that allows these differences to be seen. It becomes fairly ambiguous to think of light based on ancient to present day cultures and science when we attempt an unbiased exploration of the very energy that makes things visible or affords illumination. In light the other is born. That very energy which makes things visible and or affords illumination, provides for classification, separation, segregation and even discrimination and could make one affirm that in light Hue-men are doomed.
This might be so if one takes into account language and science within that could be used in various ways. These ambiguities surrounding social norms remain on the surface and transmit information from generation to generation. These societal norms persist as they go unquestioned or ignored and reflect the status quo of future generations because masses generally prefer mining on previous generational lines of thought. This leaves very little room for new observation and experience to allow a more harmonious way of being. Most often people become that which reflects information that has crept into their sub-conscious.

This reflects the “beautiful violence” inherent in my experience of most culturally diverse cities in the world where race, class and culture still create social divides.
Hue-men is an interactive media sculpture comprising videos of body parts of people of various races embedded in humanoid sculptural forms. These forms are created from CRT Television tubes and related media to accentuate the obvious Hue over Men. In real life situations racial tension is observed through the various arms of the varied racial groupings. Whereas in that which constitutes the skull and brain of the sculpture, there is slight spatial distortion and words written on the surface that depict basic human emotions shared by all racial grouping. The sculpted skull, like the CRT TVs with embedded videos, is bare, simulating skinning of Hue-Men to reveal what lies underneath. There is a spatial distortion in the placement of the upper parts (head) of the sculpture.

8 0 hue-men (in)security2

[In]Security 1
[In]security 1 attempts a dialogue on the amount of [in]secure information that constantly creeps into our subconscious becoming amplified with time. It also reflects on how this information could create monsters or saints out of us. This stems from a basic idea that people are a result of the INFORMATION that gets into their subconscious. This project was inspired by my short stay in Cape Town. It attempts a dialogue on the influence of security/insecurity information on individuals and reflects upon ironies surrounding the beautiful scenic city; it’s culturally diverse beautiful people and the beautiful violence surrounding it, evident by the intensity of barbed wires and alarm systems in the city. The perspective of ‘the other’ might be the main reason for the intensification of barbed wire and alarm systems. This coupled with the country’s history of Apartheid.
 8 0 hue-men (in)security4a

Interactive mixed media installation [wire- sculptures with Masonite TV head cut-outs (02), CRT screen, light, 2 videos (09:39X2), sound 09:39, TV boxes, barbed-wires] variable dimensions.
In the sculpture/installation, there is perpetual interaction between the 2 sculptures and their amplified shadows (questioning the real and the virtual), which further interacts with the video projection of animated beheaded versions of the sculptures on the backdrop. This also interacts with imagery from the CRT TV screen that replaces the head of the barbed-wire monster and the dove-man animation.
This creates an experience where both sculptures and shadows interact with their relevant animations; all of this based on imagery coming from the CRT TV screen. The barbed-wire monster grows on the backdrop under the CRT screen whenever insecure imagery (i.e. barbed-wire) appears on the foreground CRT TV screen. The angel/dove-man shows secure imagery (i.e. doves, flowers…) replacing the former on the foreground screen. The experience is further amplified by sonic poetry.

[In]Security II

8 0 hue-men (in)security5a

Mixed media (TFT screens, mirrors, video, barbed-wires, acrylic, photographs, wood)
Dimensions: 2X (80cmX 80cm)

In this diptych, the first mixed media collage consists of a barbed-wire face on board with a barbed-wire video playing on the TFT screens embedded within eye glasses. The second collage is a photographic collage of a face comprising images of sections of the faces of individuals from different races resulting in a multi-racial face. The eye glasses here are embedded with mirrors. The diptych is mounted on the wall at eye level.


Doomed in light!

Doomed in light! is based on exploring ambiguities within language, science and within accepted norms in relation to definitions of light and dark. It challenges existing status quos and cultural backdrops, while revealing existent contradictions. The artworks are inspired by the following poetic text and with integrated concepts.

Language & the science within makes me want a dumb heaven…
Lies concealing light birthing masks makes me go back to Black…
Dearest brew of our conditioned we emerged from the black…
Daring blues light born…decease from our blinding white…

In light the other is born…
Masks worn, default shielded
The reason men are doomed…
The reason for the conditioning…
The reason men have Hue-
accentuated thence Race-ism
That which provides for separation
The reason for segregation/discrimination
From light Hue-men are doomed…

Black…that which holds all things Black…from where we arise Black…that which brings out the truth in you Black…that which dissolves your Ego & Hue…
Black…absence of colour…
Black…colour of God
Black…colour of Love
Black…the language of Love

My love turns black in its purest form, If black is the absence of colour
If God has no colour then [s]he’s black If Love is blind, thence it’s black If God is Love & Love is blind(black) then God like Love is Black . The Ego like your Hue die in pitch black…

Like phase I it utilizes a wide range of interactive media from photography, video, sculpture, painting, poetry and sound with blurry lines in all installations.
Here the poetry text mainly retains main institutionalized religious rhythm that has produced some very prejudiced and segregating language.

As much as it is true, Cape Town is one of the most beautiful, culturally diverse cities in Africa, it is also true how much the hue in men is accentuated, and how much beautiful violence we see on daily basis. More often than not people are a result of what INFORMATION gets into their subconscious …

hue-men (in)security mixed media Installation (inspired by my short stay in Cape Town and as subjective as it might be) attempts a dialogue on the above as well as the ironies surrounding the beautiful city; it’s culturally diverse beautiful people and the beautiful violence we are part of evident by the intensity of barbed wires in the city.

The installation integrates elements of interactive video, photography, sculpture, painting and sound.

video documentation link,  hue-men (in)security

installation view, hue-men (in)security

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About Em'kal Eyongakpa

Em'kal Eyongakpa (b 1981) , Kɛnyaŋland/Dɛnyaland/ Itinerant. Approaches the experienced, the unknown, as well as collective histories through a ritual use of repetition and transformation, with interwoven installations/performances/soundscapes, that not only blurs the boundaries between employed media, but could also alter the notion of the real and the illusory. Initially trained as a botanist and ecologist, Eyongakpa switched to an interdisciplinary art pursuit, before taking even more time off for reflections around KHaL!LAND/KHaL! SHRINE/KHaL!toPIA. Selected recent exhibitions include 13th Sharjah Biennial 2017, La Biennale de Montréal 2016, 32a Bienal de São Paulo, Negotiations 1-i; Dualaland-Paris (Solo), Kadist art Foundation.

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