I was mad when I made this video.
It was made the day after the election, but still a little heated, I didn’t finish editing it until April. I was compelled to post it, as it felt very pertinent to the political climate that we all are experiencing today.
Like many, I was angered by an election result that seemed to validate that the perception of losing the American value (read: white and male value) of exceptionalism justifies any actions that may lead to reclaiming those feeling of exceptionalism again.
What really pissed me off was the unchallenged continuation of the underlining narrative that America’s progress is measured through ethnocentric biases and a hierarchal relationship with “others”. A penial measurement that runs parallel with the construction of fantastical narratives of dominant masculinity, a narrative that lobbied American culture as normative to whiteness and social myths of male superiority.
In fact what colonial, post-colonial, and neo-colonial methodologies most have in common are not just white male privilege but white and male privilege. The sustainability of this privilege is reliant on the consistency of the belief of cultural execptionalism and superiority through time. Any inconsistencies in the belief of execptionalism or superiority can lead to an uncomfortable level of disharmony. In a state of cognitive dissonance an individual strives (even to a point of self delusion) to maintain consistency between their differing cognitions causing a metaphorical whipping out of penises whether phantom or flesh. For some this discomfort can be so difficult that they will construct fallacies in order to alleviate the tension between their conflicting perceptions. In this state of cognitive dissonance nothing is more important than your perceived individuality, at anyone’s cost. To use the language of cinematic masculinity you are your job; you are how much money you have in the bank. You are the car you drive and the contents of your wallet. You are your fucking khakis.
The Isolated I, is the last of a three part video series called Axis of Ego. It investigates notions of toxic masculinity, cultural humility, cultural speculation and myth creation. In this work I locate and archive sources from popular and material culture, cutting, splicing and reinterpreting elements of each and interweaving them into alternative interpretations. The title The Isolated I refers to the toxicity of me-ism that’s indicative of the pursuit of superiority and exceptionalism and interwoven though race, class, and social relationships.
There comes a time when you have to speak the truth, acknowledge the truth, and pass it on.
The Isolated I
Appropriation art collage piece