Performances and Responses to L’s GA

Performances and Responses to L’s GA

Kameron Locke, response to L’s GA

Statement

L’s GA was conceptualized at a time when the words of Abraham Lincoln were but a squandered hope. It was important that I connect my art with activism for my approach to Salvatore Martirano’s enigmatic depiction of Lincoln’s unrealized words. I endeavored to visually and audibly express my and my community’s reality, and juxtapose this with a Malcolm X interview. I considered our present circumstances, a man stunted at a prepubescent development was elected and has remained chief leader amid constant controversy, xenophobia, racism, misogyny, homophobia, transphobia, bullying, and lies, and Black lives continue to be grossly and institutionally disregarded. I wanted to display the stunted progression of my country, this sweet land of Liberty. I used imagery I recorded throughout Berlin, Germany, images that I felt displayed our truly dystopian reality.

The backdrop and my clothing represent being driven to madness as I watch the racism, violence, and oppression against my community continue to unfold. The transition from blankness to the scribblings of names and last words of Black people murdered by the US’s law enforcement, over the many, many years, represents the mushrooming madness. My covered, hidden face represents the fact that Black people, regardless of background, are often seen as a threat and approached as such; I reinterpreted the movements to depict exactly this.

Creating this video and the process was extremely cathartic – I, a Black American man, put on exhibition my constant fears, worries, anguish, confusion, and recycled feelings that I connect to my ever-present truth. I am Black and I am a Black man and in my birth country, and large segments of the world, wreathed in white supremacy, I am viewed as a “terrible thing”. While I know this to be false, do you?

Lincoln’s words continue to be squandered, but we are in the midst of a revolution. It is both televised and discreet. The people are rising. Change and hope, though elusive, will come.

Kameron Locke

Kameron Locke (he/him) is a classical singer and research-based artist who expresses facets of Blackness through music, performance, and study.

Locke navigates cultural, community, and academic spaces as a performer, artistic leader, multi-disciplinary art programmer, creator, educator, activist, social justice advocate, and musicologist. He describes this as being an “infiltrator” within spaces that were not designed for and meant to accommodate the Other. As an insider, he challenges such environments by addressing issues that are otherwise ignored.

He was born and raised in Chicago and is a recent émigré to Berlin via London.

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