• Artist: Ebony G. Patterson
  • Medium: Video Installation
  • Project Type: Queens and Kings of Scarborough
  • Curator: Ashley McKenzie-Barnes
  • Neighbourhood: Scarborough

Internationally recognized artist Ebony G. Patterson dissects issues of race, visibility and class with her most ambitious video installation to date.

Location

Scarborough Civic Centre, Rotunda

  • Address: 150 Borough Dr.
    Inside at Rotunda
  • Public Washrooms: Yes
  • Physical Access: Wheelchair accessible
  • Indoors/Outdoors: Indoors

The Project

In the monumental “…three kings weep…,” a chapel-like setting is intended to mimic a place of worship, and three young Black male subjects will be depicted larger than life. This artwork will call into question what it means for a Black male body to be seen. It will also question why society is quick to dismiss the humanity of these individuals. Cloaking these three young men in floral patterns and gleaming jewels, the artist will present them in a fashion similar to classic Renaissance portraiture. Luxe finery will exalt their social status and claim their dignity as each man “crowns” themselves king. Flashy clothing will also become a protective armour from outside influences that would otherwise prey upon their vulnerability and threaten their very lives. A poem by Jamaican-born poet Claude McKay titled “If We Must Die” will interject in the silence.

The Artist

Jamaican-born, Ebony G. Patterson employs opulent, hand-embellished surfaces and brightly coloured patterns to seduce the viewer into witnessing the violence and social injustices imposed upon the invisible and the voiceless. Her multilayered practice looks past the façade of their rich formal characteristics and the fabricated fantasies increasingly traded in our consumer- and social media–centric culture.

Acknowledgements

"...three kings weep...", 2018, courtesy of the artist and Monique Meloche Gallery, Chicago.