It cannot be reiterated often enough—there is not one singular way to look at a piece of art. Typically, I’ve found that if an artist's intention is to lock you inside a box of their thinking, they’ll tell you that directly. The obvious is not only noticeable. It is apparent not solely in the ethos, but in the substance. And if you are standing before a Lina Iris Viktor piece, there is one substance that her work forces you to understand.
And I don’t mean the definition of “force” that coerces a viewer into believing in a substance against their will. It is beyond constraint. It is beyond pressure. And while you can, and you should, take away a galaxy of truths from Viktor’s work, the one that is the most evident is the power she breathes into Blackness. Upon looking at her work, you should understand that Blackness is not monolithic.
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