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Terrain #4, 1999
16" x 20"
My work has mainly used the racialized and sexualized
body as a template, partly to consider colonial relationships in their
myriad configurations of exploration, discovery, desire and fear. In
the last five years I have been mostly working in photo series, photographing
public architectural spaces and landscapes, creating narratives about
migration, return, nostalgia, and yearning. While suggesting autobiography,
the work also uses strategies of fiction, masquerade and elusiveness
in order to refute readings of authenticity.
The Terrain series consists of fabricated, table-top landscape
models that have then been photographed. They transpose particular landscapes
that I have visited, and experienced partly through their association
with nationalist discourses, such as the South West deserts evoking
mythologies of the frontier. They also refer obliquely to nineteenth-century
American painters such as Thomas Cole, Albert Bierstadt and Frederic
Church whose landscapes celebrated the sublime and the idyllic, as well
as the patriotic, the masculine and expansionist. The Terrains resite
landscape as a national(ist) projection of the racialized, gendered
body, partly by their fabrication from-among other materials-bodily
detritus such as hair, eyelashes and ear wax.
|Allan deSouza was born in Kenya and raised in England. He holds
a BA (Hons) from Bath Academy of Art in England, an MFA in Photography
from UCLA, and has participated in the Independent Study Program
(Critical Studies) at the Whitney Museum of American Art. He has
exhibited extensively in Britain and in the US, including The Photographers
Gallery, London; the Whitney Museum, NY; Queens Museum, NY; Museum
of Fine Arts, Miami; as well as Galeria Mitra, Lisbon; Vancouver
Art Gallery and at the Third Havana Biennale, Cuba. His fiction
and critical writings have appeared in various journals and anthologies.
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