Michelle Pearson Clarke was one of our Artist Prize finalists earlier this year.
New Gallery, in Calgary, recently presented Clarke’s three-channel video with sound installation, Suck Teeth Compositions [After Rashaad Newsome 2018]. Her large projections are of Black and Caribbean descent individuals who look straight out at the viewer while sucking their teeth, a culturally known sound in Black communities. This piece is in response to a series by Black American artist Rashaad Newsome, Shade Compositions [2005-present] which features women and gay men together snapping fingers and lips, rolling eyes and cocking their heads.
Both Clarke’s and Newsome’s work express the history and power that accompany a recognizable cultural cue. We, as viewers watching, are simultaneously being watched by the individuals depicted in the installation. They demand that we reflect on the experience of Blackness in our racialized world.
For the New Gallery website click here.