Curator's statement One of the problems of living as a racialised human being in a white society is the impossibility of being seen as we see ourselves and/or as we are: beautiful, intelligent, able to add value to society, competent for high-profile jobs and not restricted to menial sectors. In our dreams, we see ourselves shining, living harmoniously, enjoying fulfilling and caring family relationships. And in many cases, this is even a reality. Yet we don’t find these images in our surroundings. In the media and in marketing, black men in particular are presumed to be incompetent at providing for their families and behaving in a caring manner. As a result, there are very few images of joyful or intimate scenes between racialised people. In a desire to deconstruct the stereotypes that weigh on black people and to act on representations, I proposed to the artist Iyallola Iffy Tillieu (she/they) to develop this theme in her painting. Working at the intersection of queerness and normativeness, they show people living different types of relationship (brotherhood/sisterhood, parenting, love, etc) interacting with one another. The aim of her work is not to deny that there is a form of relational violence among populations who have lived through slavery and colonisation for several centuries, but rather to finally give positive images of these human lives a chance to circulate. It is a way of reappropriating the discourse on and the image of oneself. (Anne-Wetsi Mpoma, Wetsi Art Gallery)

Artist’s statement by Iffy Tillieu: If we internalise the white gaze, we find ourselves in the impossibility of forming relationships in which love can flow naturally and where violence is absent... The figures in the paintings: male, female or genderless, try to escape the preconceived images imposed on them in the abstraction of the works or in the ornamental. The characters demand to shape their own lives...
Periode23 sep 2022
LocatieBrussels, Belgium