Parade of Champions
3-channel, HD video installation with sound
16 x 9 format, 23:50 | 2015
Parade of Champions explores the grief experiences of three black queer people, following the deaths of their mothers. Although grief is borne from loss of any kind, for an adult child, a mother’s death is incomparable. As universal and inevitable as it might be, this suffering is complicated by the restriction on mourning in our culture. Grief upsets us. It makes us uncomfortable. The bereaved are expected to mourn in private or at the very most, publicly for a short period only. For black queers, already unseen and othered, grieving a mother’s death requires a further pushing back against notions of disposability and invisibility.
Drawing on my own experience after my mother’s death in 2011, Parade of Champions centres this black queer counter-narrative in creating a poetic encounter with loss. Employing still video portraits and audio interviews, this immersive three-channel installation invites viewers to bear witness to this black queer grief.
Installation Photos (Ryerson Image Centre, 2015): Eugen Sakhnenko