Cameron Charles Clayborn
My practice is about examining the extent of an individual’s power to reflect their most authentic self in public and/or civic space. The objective of my work is to interrogate the stability of identity as means to expand the limitations placed on the expressions of my blackness, gender, and sexuality. My projects range in media including sculpture, designed objects, writing, dance, and performance.
The materials I use are vinyl, jean, satin, upholstery foam, poly fiber, insulation, steel, and sand. I source these materials from the internal and external substances of objects in domestic, public, and/or civic space. I consider my work derivative of West African spiritual sculptures known as nkondi or power figures, like nkondi my objects are designed specifically for personal and habitual use. This is explicit in my series titled (containerbags) where the objects are constructed from the measurements of me and my father’s body parts, and are used to exercise literally and metaphorically the conflicts in our relationship.
My art historical influences include Adrian Piper, Félix Gonzáles-Torres, Essex Hemphill, and Hélio Oiticica. Each of the artists mentioned have or had practices that work with the poetics and constructs of the body. I seek to continue their language by shaping a practice that responds to the contemporary sociopolitical climate. The aim being to offer power to subjugated bodies as they navigate civic spaces.