Untitled 19 (2014)
Untitled 19 (2014) exemplifies Erica Deeman’s (b. 1977, Nottingham, UK) Silhouettes series, in which she photographed Black women against stark white backgrounds. Deeman found each sitter through street casting in San Francisco, where the artist lives and continues to work. The contrast between the brightly illuminated backgrounds and the subjects’ dark skin tones, rendered nearly pitch black in her pictures, provokes an awareness of the relationship between the conventions of studio photography and the visual production of race. By foregrounding each subject’s serenity, the Silhouettes series subverts the complex historical legacy of silhouettes and their use in the racist pseudoscience of physiognomy. Untitled 19 adds a contemporary perspective on the representation of the African Diaspora to the broad collection of political art in Langson IMCA’s collection.
Year acquired: 2023