The performance “Third Person,” as part of “Black Bodies - White Lies” exhibition, is a social and political statement by Carlos Martiel.
“Race is a social construction, an idea with no biological foundation.” (Omi and Winant 1994 Omi, Michael, and Howard Winant. 1994. Racial Formation in the United States: From the 1960s to the 1980s. New York: Routledge; Gossett 1997).
The construction of the “Black Body,” has been a social, scientific, psychological and educational conceptualization. These racial ideas have been challenging humanity, human rights and the inclusion of black persons into American society since its inception. The focal point will be Martiel’s body highlighting what is happening to the black body in our current society, and emphasizing the physical and psychological violence done to black people through slavery, lynching and police brutality.
Martiel in “Third Person” will create a visual conversation about the contemporary understanding of a Black Body and the struggle to have inclusion, equality and liberation. We should also connect that conversation with historical discourses, public policies and devastating contexts, like African American education. The current Black Lives Matter movement is profoundly opening our perceptions to the social, economic and environmental inequalities and violence that black communities encounter every day in this country.
The long ugly history of Black disenfranchisement and injustice is the history of American mental illness. For centuries this illness has corroded our collective wellbeing as a species, and it must be examined and neutralized to ensure the health and evolution of the American project. The intention of this curatorial project focusing on Carlos Martiel’s practice is that this art will help engender sociopolitical change within the community of Denver, Colorado.