There’s been some times on stage when I really felt free
20 July 2020
Rene, 2019 & Paul, 1978
There’s been some times on stage when I really felt free, 2020, HD Video with sound, 3min 21sec
There’s been some times on stage when I really felt free is a compilation of moments I filmed one evening at my father’s house in Peterborough. It isn’t a work… just a documentation of my guy.
I have long been interested in what Arthur Jafa calls ‘glamouring’ – the idea that Black folk have learnt to perform or ‘moonwalk’ their way out of submission. When I started to document my dad, I realised his remarkable ability to do this - the way he performs Paul.
I speak about ‘glamouring’ in my film brown girl in the art world III where I say:
‘whilst glamouring is a strategy for surviving and responding to the violence of whiteness, it’s a strategy for resisting it and that’s a super power. I’m not sure if this is a display of liberation but it’s a display of survival and survival is radical.’
This was filmed before Paul attempted suicide, after his successful cancer treatment, during his on-going love affair with alcohol and it was the week I started taking antidepressants. Black men don’t catch breaks and neither do their brown babies.
I suppose this film is about what survival looks like on a Thursday night in a two up two down. Paul puts a chef costume on to cook me dinner, he changes hats and CDs multiple times. Auntie Lulu, who suffers from Cerebral Palsy, wears a top that says ‘you have to dream big to be big’ from the musical hairspray, I wear our flags on my acrylic nails and we tell our stories.
Rene Matić: BNC2020 Artist Page