Cloud, performed by British-Ghanaian visual artist Larry Achiampong investigates the concept of racial identity while exploring the consequences of ‘othering’ in modern British society. The performance, at London’s Tate Modern begins with the Cloudface character – a mask with a black head and bright red lips – entering the gallery escorted by an anonymous female character towards a space containing paintings and sculptures by Picasso. On arrival, the Cloudface character sits silently in a chair placed against the bare white walls of the gallery for an hour, and again is escorted out of the gallery space by the same anonymous female character. This performance is a continuation of Achiampong’s photo series, ‘Lemme Skull U’ and ‘Glyth’ where he places the Cloudface character on top of photographs of family members in a variety of situations via digital manipulation, erasing them of their identities. Essentially making them faceless with no back-story.
Please remind me how hard work, pulling up your pants, following the law and saving money will keep Black men, and Black people in general safe? Remind me of how the politics of respectability works. Try.