In an unusual and rather daring step, the African-American photographer Nona Faustine has posed completely naked in some emblematic places of New York linked to the history of slavery. Portraits.
Nona Faustine’s self-portrait series is called “White Shoes”. “White Shoes,” such as those on the photographs where her nudity is publicly exposed. With shoes, another accessory often appears: the irons, the chains, by which the slaves were constrained. The history of slavery in New York City is the theme of the artist’s photographic series. Nona Faustine has only posed in places related to this story. Who knew for example that Wall Street was built on an old slave market? That the New York City Hall rested on a site where slaves were buried? “Writing in a photographic tradition while questioning the culture that has engendered this tradition, my work crosses the lines of the past and the present,” writes Nona Faustine. “Through the self-portrait I explore the questions of the black body in photography and history.”
© Nona Faustine “From Her Body Sprang Their Greatest Wealth” (“From her body springs their greatest wealth”). Self-portrait on Wall Street, where there was a slave market.
” Slavery is controversial, ” the artist explained in an interview with Dodge and Burn . ” It’s a subject we’re trying not to discuss in America. It bothers people. You can see the change on their faces when you mention it, and the role it plays on our damaged psychologies. The fact that I am told not to mention slavery, which inspired my project, tells me everything I need to know. There are wounds that are not yet completely healed, and the negative consequences of this story are still with us . “
© Nona Faustine “Of My Body I Will Make Monuments In Your Honor” (“From my body I will make monuments in your honor”). Temporary installation representing Nona Faustine in a Dutch cemetery in Brooklyn, where three slaves were buried among settlers.
” The other controversy is that related to my body of woman, obese, black, naked and exposed to the gaze. Often people do not like to see it because it causes a lot of emotional reactions. These two controversies – slavery and the body – obliterated the nature of my work in certain circles, “the photographer added.
© Nona Faustine “Judgment Day”, photo taken in front of the Supreme Court in New York.
Nona Faustine was born and raised in the Brooklyn neighborhood. She is a graduate of the highly regarded School of Visual Arts in New York. His approach is part of the study of Afro-American history and traditions, as well as gender and identity issues. Nona Faustine is the author of the series “Mitochondrial” (three generations of women living together with her mother and her daughter) and “White Shoes”, self-portraits of historical sites linked to slavery in the city from New York. His work has been featured in numerous art galleries and photography. (Its website here) .
© Nona Faustine “Like A Pregnant Corpse The Ship Expelled Her Into Patriarchy”, (“Like a pregnant corpse the ship sent her into the Patriarchate”). Photo taken on the Atlantic coast in Brooklyn. (Its website here) .