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

91 - 2018

After hearing Anthea Black and Thea Yabut give an artist talk for their exhibition at La Centrale Galerie Powerhouse, Andrea Williamson speculates about what Black meant by the potential for queer art, theory, and politics found in abstract and non-representational art forms. Looking at examples of collective embodiment through the writing of Fred Moten, Ralph Ellison, and Hannah Black, she imagines non-visibility or invisibility as the surpassing of singularity and the impossibility of its representation. Comparing their collaborative drawings to other forms of queer art that deal with the non-visible, retreat, and negation, she shows how Black and Yabut’s work engages a more-than-singular identity—a generosity of forms that can be represented only through recording collective embodiment. The author stresses that collectivity is not the disappearance of the individual but an endless additional equation, and suggests that empathy with other subjects can never be complete because individuals are immeasurable and, hence, invisible as images.

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