Thursday, December 10, 2020

John Edmonds’s Intimate Gaze Conjures New Avenues for Imaging Africa

By Daniella Brito
John Edmonds, “Collapse” (2019), digital silver gelatin photograph, 20 x 20 inches (courtesy the artist and Company, New York. © John Edmonds)
In his solo exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum, artist John Edmonds conjures optics old and new to chronicle complex relationships between Africa and its diasporas. A sidelong glance is a mode of indirect looking: surreptitious and critical, this swift leering can be lecherous at times, cloaked by motives like desire and hunger. In her influential l essay, “A Sidelong Glance: The Practice of African Diaspora Art History in the United States,” art historian Krista Thompson surveys the teleologies and visual mechanisms that have informed African diasporic art history in the past century, citing sidelong vision as a critical vantage from which to examine how African diasporic people “are seen, see themselves, or are rendered invisible.” [More