‘EMERGENCE AFRI’ VIOLA’, is a performance / Video piece in a VR/ Augmented environment that merges the traditions and conceptual visual language of contemporary art and the innovative technology of virtual /augmented realities. The performances are both immersed with visual cues in order to retell forgotten and omitted histories of African peoples and landscapes.
The video, consisting of an 11-minute stop-motion animation, was built and executed in Google Tilt-Brush, in which the backdrop and set were built using .png photo files. The main figures were then dragged into the set one by one and photographed. This video explores ways in which stop-motion animation can be utilised in new ways as a medium. In it we explore the intersection of performance art and its residues. The video heavily references Bill Viola’s ‘Emergence’, in which two women are depicted resurrecting a Christ like figure from a marble cistern. This video performance forms as an installation that critics religious Western Art History.
This video piece & its subsequent VR environment aims to over-turn the convention of the white messiah in Western Art history and also aims to explore the notions of how the Black African identity was directly stripped, and stolen, only to be re-appropriated by colonial forces into a mouth-piece of Western colonial propaganda. This propaganda was to use the device of religion as a tool of oppression and enslavement. This thus forced an omission of an African knowledge system and histories, which then created a subverted system of pseudo-scientific, global- humanistic knowledge.
Emergence: Afri Viola, 2019, Stop Motion Animation (Duration: 11 min 17 sec)