Chassidy David —
In the words of the great Chinua Achebe, “Until the lions have their own historians, the history of the hunt will always glorify the hunter.” As a woman born into the African diaspora, I have always felt jaded by the immense labor of uncovering the history of where I came from and from whom? Most of my culture’s history has been intentionally destroyed and hidden due to colonialism and Western imperialism. Subsequently, I often find myself asking, where can I go to learn the history of my people, land, and lineage, when the internet doesn’t know and my family is a victim of time? The deprivation of knowledge and connection to my ancestors and the metaphysical concept of home, has laid the foundation for the work I have made and aspire to. If they have taken my history, I will re-imagine it as I see fit and use it to inform the “right now”.
My work draws inspiration from the principles written in the Afro-Surreal manifesto (by D. Scot Miller). I am fascinated by the beauty and absurdity that is life in the 21st Century within a “first-world country” as a Black woman. I use aestheticism as my playground to create fully realized worlds, that are rich in symbolism and identity yet defy singular categorization.
My main impetus as an artist is to create work that breaks through the noise of the post-information age. It is central to my practice to utilize the foundational knowledge of pyschocinematics and avant-garde cinema. I often seek to first understand how we as humans interpret and shape reality in order to experiment with traditional filmmaking narratives and structures. My work subverts stereotypes and implicit biases by initially presenting them as truths to the audience in hopes that they reflect on their role in its overtly apparent fabrication. Above all, my hope is that people feel like participants when absorbing my work.
In summation, I want to document everything. I want to document the ugly. The aesthetic. The rich. The poor. The high brow. The low brow. The magnum opus. The mediocre. The serious. The unserious. You. Me. I want to document the fact that I was here. That I lived a beautiful and expansive life, full of love with people who look just like me. And although I rarely make appearances in my own work, my hope is that I will not be erased.