Artist’s Statement – Tiffany Webster, 2017

I often think about vessels, the body as a vessel of all the people, things and experiences we perceive. Vessels that we didn’t ask for, a vessel we were just given. I try to find Home within this vessel, I try to protect this vessel that’s under constant surveillance, by finding methods of navigating safely both URL and IRL. The exploration of Agency of the Artist within a Frame has been the foundation of my current work.

Agency as a myth. Agency as something that just doesn’t exist.

Ideas mostly occur during the quiet hours of 4am and manifesting as scripts on a Mac. Through writings and readings that happen in collaboration and/or conversation with others. Through play, pain and through healing; I attempt to manifest theoretical ideas into visceral and physical acts.  I want to know it looks like to be Radically Invisible/Visible. I want to know what it feels like. Through collaborative live sound performances as a form of collective exploration alongside the usage of everyday objects as tools to assist the manifestational methods of ‘Radical Visibility’ alongside the strategic navigation and survival of artists of colour URL and IRL.

I make things: To explore, To Heal, To Resist, To hold on and To let go, To Stay Woke. ‘Radical Visibility’; I’ve defined this as a strategic act of navigation and management or ‘control’ over one’s visibility within The Frame. A starting point from where the black CC[4] may be able to navigate safely, a point of departure where both extreme acts of the two opposing poles of traditional acts of resistance such as ‘Refusal’[5] and ‘Hypervisibility’[6] meet.

The Web 2.0 is a tool that to be used with caution. I argue that refusal must function here as a means, with intent. With refusal always in mind. Refusal is spoken of here as at the center of ‘‘Radical Visibility’’ where perhaps the black CC’s agency can be found. Agency over one’s own body as a black CC is complex and I question if agency is something that is even possible at all.

I see my practice situated as within within cyber-intersectional-feminist and decolonialist conversations, within debates on authorship, on Consumption, on Accessibilities and Inaccessibilities of the racialized body, and on the gaze.

My work is informed by research on historical and current methods of self-preservation, resistance and healing. Influenced by artists such as Martine Syms, Lubaina Himis, Adrian Piper, Alice Theobald, Niv Acosta and Hannah Black, All Artists who have explored the body via performative acts

‘Artist’s Statement’ is an act of Encrypted Performance, of expanding oneself as a holding place. Of a failed/successful attempt to escape representation as performance, performance as representation; a failed/successful attempt to become Radically Visible, activating the viewer instead of passively receiving. Through rhythm and interruption, Through vocalization as a summoning.

I’m not opaque, I’m so relevant I’m disappearing. – One Poem by Anais Duplan



Filmed Performance of ‘Artist’s Statement Contextual Statement: 500-600 words’: