Black et Yabut_TwoFold-detail
Anthea Black & Thea Yabut Two-Fold: Twice as Great or as Numerous, detail, 2015-2017.
Photo : Anthea Black, courtesy of the artists

Invisible as One and Many: The Mirror Drawings of Anthea Black and Thea Yabut

Andrea Williamson
As a master narrative and historical reality, the crystallization of individuated and caesured human being is responsible for the capturing of bodies as images, because truly ­separate beings cannot materially exist outside of images. Outside of images, we are always already part of networked being — what Donna Haraway calls “becoming-with” — wherein we are all always dependent on other bodies for life and death.

Here, I consider Mirror Drawing, the collaborative drawing project of Anthea Black and Thea Yabut, in which the two artists sit and trace each other’s drawing as it emerges on a single page, against the backdrop of accelerated capturing of real bodies as images. In today’s economies of separation, facial-recognition technologies, and identity-based exclusions and border controls — in degrees that vary drastically according to (images of) race, sex, gender, religion, orientation, and class — we are all pictured as potentially threatening or out-of-place bodies. Black tells me that she sees all art practice as resistance1 1 - Anthea Black, “Re: your exhibition,” email to the author, March 20, 2017.. Forms of non-representational and abstract art offer resistance to the clarity and transparency surrounding the fabrication of the quantifiable, categorical individual.

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This article also appears in the issue 91 - LGBT+
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