Radio Interview by Andil Gosine, 2010

Lorraine O’Grady’s Natures

National Campus and Community Radio Association

This half-hour show, extracted from a longer video interview and produced in Canada for NCRA, is focused on O’Grady’s diptych “The Clearing” and explores issues of sex, nature and love in her work via a mix of the intellectual and the intimate.

RADIO TRANSCRIPT

Title: Lorraine O’Grady’s Natures: A Conversation About “The Clearing”
Length: 0:26:32
Narrator: Andil Gosine
Producer: Omme-Salma Rahemtullah
Music credit: “Uncomfortable Truth,” performed by Nneka
Premiere: September 28, 2010 (CHRY, Toronto)
Airing on networks affiliated with the National Campus and Community Radio Association.  ( … )

(Opening music, “Uncomfortable Truth,” by Nneka”) 

Gosine: Lorraine O’Grady has a beautiful way of speaking the unspoken.  When she switched careers from Economist to Artist thirty years ago, one of her firstcreations was the reinvention of herself as Mademoiselle Bourgeoise Noire.  Decked out in a gorgeous white dress made of 180 pairs of gloves and carrying a cat o’ nine tails whip studded with chrysanthemums, Mademoiselle Bourgeoise Noire interrupted art openings in New York.  Looking part beauty queen, part diva – and completely stunning – she railed against the “racial apartheid” of New York’s art establishment, and called on black and white artists to break the walls down.

Another of O’Grady’s beautiful works will re-emerge this fall at Beyond/In Western New York, an international exhibit taking place at various galleries across Buffalo from September 24 to the end of 2010.  The now 75 year-old artist’s featured contribution will be “The Clearing,” a large black and white photographic diptych that she completed in 1990.  The left panel presented a naked couple—a black woman and a white man in passionate embrace, floating in the sky, hovering above the trees.  On the ground below, a young boy and girl are pictured running after a ball as itrolls towards a pile of the adults’ discarded clothing.  A handgun is flung amongst the assortment of clothes. In the right panel, set in the same landscape, the male figure is clothed in chain mail, and a skull replaces his face.  He is leaning over the black woman’s naked, numb body and fondles her breast.  Her face is turned away, her arms stiff at her sides, her eyes fixed on the sky above.  When O’Grady made the piece, she was simply striving to make – as she always has sought to make – beautiful art.  I recently had the opportunity to ask Ms. O’Grady about her beautiful art.

O’Grady: The Clearing has had a very interesting history, and. . . When I first showed it, at the INTAR show, which was the show that I ( … )

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