Rude / Emergencies
Shikeith’s work is an assemblage of wonder and personal truths that focuses on the metamorphoses of Black men within a society that denies these men their erotic and reconciliatory potential. He considers interiors—one’s own, as well as those of other men that can only be imagined in their distance across minds. Through this breadth of media, he examines the fantastic as it relates to and complicates personal autobiography and self-making. Shikeith aims to make artwork that moves beyond a focus on the bodies of black men toward and into the profundity of psyches, where identities are formed and black manhood can be imagined as an indeterminate and unfixed space. How are the imagination of those individuals shaped by the tectonic developments of mountains, the slow erosion of water bubbling through valleys? The spill serves as the critical representation of this unfixedness that resists legibility. It is resistant, opaque, nebulous, and mutable, an anti-form. Spills are moments and remnants of destruction and rebirth, combating the very margins meant to keep black men contained. What then of the boundaries of the psychic landscapes within Black men and boys? The underground formed through the space-making of Black queer fugitivity serves as site of artistic excavation. The dirt loosed by that digging is both literal and figural. Earthly materials (glass, soil, slate rock) establish a black queer vernacular in sculpture. Mud, ambiguity of pose, the weight of books on a skull, haint blue an apotropaic against the darkness, ease and crisis with the earth. What will it take to reconcile the psychic wound born out of being a black man in America? What will it look like?