Without a Leg to Stand On, 2021

11 - Images // 7 - Embroidered Fabrics // 1 - Single-Channel Video 

Untitled 01, 54" x 36"

This series reflects what it means for our society to be at yet another junction for change. As an artist who mainly engages with the still-image, I am reminded daily that this medium was not created for inclusion. It symbolizes a tool of class, power and position. When photography became more accessible and color film was introduced to the middle class, the chemical process used white skin to calibrate images via Kodak’s Shirley Cards. This meant that darker skin tones appeared washed out, grey and inhuman. This was another subtle reminder that Black people and other racialized folks outside the realm of "normal" did not belong. The industry’s change was not spurred by the realization that their product or process was racist. However, the change stemmed from a need to satisfy commercial photography for realistic photographs to sell chocolate and wooden furniture. 

Property, objects and prosperity were revered over the idea of a Black person's ability to engage in accurately capturing their image.

In this series, the Shirley Cards are deconstructed to gestures using fragmented body parts (feet, face and hands), wooden table legs, white satin gloves and pearls. The title references the idiom "not to have a leg to stand on" meaning one's argument is without evidence or merit; this characterizes the ideology of white supremacy. It is nothing more than a fickle fable however the tale persists to impact our society. The images use elements of abstraction and fake objects and are paired with a single-channel video installation which explores the appropriation and exploitation of Black culture.

Untitled 02, 20"x 20"

Also A Chair, 2021, Single-Channel Video Installation, 3:42

Video Still 01 - Also A Chair, 2021

Video Still 02 - Also A Chair, 2021

Exhibition History

An Act of Irrepressible Reclamation (Nov. 26, 2021 - Feb. 11, 2022)

Solo exhibition - The Stride Gallery, Calgary Alberta (Treaty 7)

Curated by: eva birhanu

Documentation by: Han SungPil

Left: Front cover of the curatorial essay

Using Format