Something entirely fictitious and true, that creeps across your path hallowing your evil ways. – Amiri Baraka
My interdisciplinary practice is an exploration of the fluidity of the monstrous, through the lens of science fiction and critical race theory. Notions of power, perception and fear are also examined as they relate to systemic inequities. I have created a mythology, about the complexities of contemporary Black life. My artwork is influenced by sci-fi literature from authors such as Octavia Butler and H.P. Lovecraft. Themes in social science fiction such as the politics around the perceived humanity of a foreign or alien body, can be analogous to the many Black experiences in America. In view of this, I am also influenced by Jeffery Cohen’s essay “Monster Culture (Seven Theses),” which argues that societies create monsters (usually embodied by marginalized people) as a way to maintain the status quo and justify oppressive systems. The resulting is a process-based practice involving mixed-media installation, painting, drawing, collage and assemblage.
Much of my work is inspired by the West Coast Black Arts Movement of the 1960’s and 70’s, as well as the Dadaist, who appropriated and re-contextualized images from society as a subversive act. In the vein of Felix Gonzales-Torres, I am interested in making the personal, public. Therefore, these works are inspired by my rural working class upbringing in Red Springs, North Carolina, in relation to wider contemporary concerns that surround race, class, and masculinity. -Antoine Williams