Becoming Visible


I might have expanded my articulation on what it is I’m trying to get at. Maybe. I think. Primarily through the internet, but also through having spent a significant amount of time away from my home country of South Africa and then moving back. Alienation is something that tints this journey. While I previously occupied an outward critical gaze on that matter, I have become increasingly aware of the importance of questioning my own ideas of self.

Through a combination of a conservative background that shunned sexual expression, an art world that still condescends “outsider”, “other”, “African”, “black” or “social” art and a society that has such a young grasp of female and queer sexuality and desire, its taken me a minute to get here.

After years of studying and trying find myself in art history, I have resolved instead to lose myself in art futures. Don’t get me wrong - I’m a total fanboy. Toni Morrison, Octavia Butler, Samuel R. Delany, are my gods. I’ve been inside the worlds painted by Wangechi Mutu, Tabita Rezaire, Lady $kollie and Ellen Gallager. Those are worlds so vast, we travel them together and build our visions around them. However it is imperative for me to confront the confusion and chaos that is myself in order to create a world of my own among these worlds.

While much of my work prior to coming back to South Africa was generally about the stranger’s predicament of desire for belonging and knowledge of it’s unattainability, I have become acutely aware of the vehicle with which I navigate this crude course and wonder about my alienation from the vehicle itself. There is clearly a link between alienation in the world and alienation in the body. 

My plan now is to begin to measure this. On myself. For myself. Not rely on external accounts. Not doubt my instinct on what is inside or out. What exists and what doesn’t. Simply measure. Mark. Symbolize. Organize. As an alternative form of finding home. Becoming visible; healing and dealing.

Heidi Sincuba