In Studies for Impartiality, Uddoh continues her exploration of radical self-love and black feminism, working through relationships with places, objects or characters in British popular culture. The exhibition stages multi-faceted imagery of Moira Stuart; the first black, female newsreader to appear on British television when she began working for BBC News in 1981. Through Stuart, Uddoh furthers her research into leading broadcasting figure Una Marson, a Jamaican feminist, activist and writer, and the first Black woman to be employed by the BBC during World War II.
Works on paper and screen printed reproductions of Stuart’s face taken from her performances on TV feature throughout the space, seeking to question how her representation informs the artist’s own identity. By repeatedly tracing her image, Uddoh references the ubiquitous nature of Stuart’s presence on television screens in British households throughout the 1980s, 90s and 00s, whilst recognising the limitations of her position as a supposedly impartial subject (both as a news broadcaster and as a woman of colour). Uddoh attempts to describe existing practices of believing black women, and the other-worldly conditions often necessary for this.
On the opening night, Uddoh will perform her script, written for a human teleprompter, ‘Auto Cutie’, with diasporic dance troop DIDD. Histories of miraculous brown Virginial apparitions and everyday tokenism are intertwined, delivered to the cadence of DIDD’s dance moves.
Through this project and beyond, Uddoh questions the consequences of representation, attempting to develop an understanding of performances of race and blackness in a global context, specifically their role in nation building. What role have black people had historically in the construction of national identities, from Una Marson to Meghan Markle to Moira Stuart?
Text from Jupiter Woods Press Release. Works and editions available for sale.
Performance script is published here: http://jupiterwoods.com/publishing/rosa-johan-uddoh-13-dead-nothing-said
See a review of the show here: https://www.studiointernational.com/index.php/rosa-johan-uddoh-studies-for-impartiality-review-jupiter-woods-london
Installation views: Manuela Barczewski
Performance shots: Paul Chapellier