i’m qúpa. i am a black Jamaican-American artist from Detroit. i’m currently and permanently a global resident who spends the majority of my time between Chicago and Detroit.
i am currently working on a picture-book project called “power in the blood: spirituals, isms, and songs on sour pussy” dealing with the concepts of bodily life in racially mapped out spaces, gendered bodies, bodies seeking to abolish Euro-centric gendered expressions, sign economies, and relationships of power through religious practices and beliefs on ‘blood’ (i.e. life, relativity or relation, libation, menstruation, purification rites, and the concepts of ‘sacrifice’); this project works through the economic commodification of bodies as re-productive vessels (e.g. plantation/chattel slavery, ‘labor’, sexual pleasure and sex ‘work’, and the use of toxicity to theorize cleanliness, purity, and ultimately power over collective life and death); this project centers on the concept of “pussy” as a site of contested power, pussy as a cosmic space and the processes of coitus as spacial exploration, penetration and potential colonization, the use of space as a realm of visibility to construct a concept of body (dermatological perimeter and a volumic mass) as commodity and the use of body to mark spaces as commodity all through the understanding of consciousness as “being(s)”, and a theory of always momentary existence as ‘matter’ in friction. working through a framework of indigenous Black gender abolition, I am reconceptualizing “pussy” not as a “body object” but as a subordinated material and at the same time a secret place of uncontainable power, rethinking “genitalia” as being bound up in an individuals quest for re-identification, self-actualization, and liberation from the medico-juridical state which seeks to enforce strict binaries and corresponding behavioral norms. Though we’ve been forced to abandon spaces, our bodies as spaces, by those who colonize and exploit spaces and out bodies as space, we must re-conceptualize our conception and our birth and re-imagine our bodies as facilities of rebirth, of infinite reconception, power, both full and void, ready to be reclaimed, ready to receive love and to give it, ready not just to penetrate spaces in a domineering way, but relearning how to be space and to let our spaces be filled in order to give back to the world more than the world could ever imagine.
my hope is that through this visual and literal project, a statement and a series of questions can be made possible to draw connections across lines which forbid the connection of “pussy” as a commodity and a highly valued object to power, to theology, to economic analysis, to the formation of post-masculinities, to the re-imagination and potential abolition of traditional masculinity, to cosmology, to theoretical aerospace, to physics, to urban studies, and not least of all, to the world of historical literature. it is the duty of people who’ve been raised as “men” to account for the ways in which their identity has been build on the banishment and subordination of “pussy” and to reclaim and recover and restore the “pussy” that the world has taught you to fear, hate, and violate. there is no tomorrow, without rebirth, only longer, and longer days.