Tayo Adekunle

  • 2020
  • Art
  • Photography - BA (Hons)

Tayo Adekunle: Reclamation of the Exposition

Tayo Adekunle
Reclamation of the Exposition

What do you want people to know about your graduation project?

Reclamation of the Exposition (2020) explores the commodification, fetishization and sexualisation of the black female body, specifically through the human displays in ethnographic expositions in the 18th and 19th centuries.
 

What or who is your inspiration and why is following this route important to you?

I was inspired by colonial exhibitions and human zoos where black bodies were displayed as human spectacles for European entertainment. The work is also influenced by ethnographic photographs which were circulated as pornography. Black (and other racial minority) bodies were photographed either naked in front of a white background, stripped of their identity, or surrounded by random tropical plants to make the photographs seem authentic. Following this route was important to me because by understanding how and why black bodies were treated as objects to be bought, sold and displayed, the commodification of black bodies that occurs today can be challenged and countered.

Tayo Adekunle_Photography - BA (Hons)_2020_Reclamation of the Exposition _1.jpg
Tayo Adekunle
Reclamation of the Exposition
Tayo Adekunle_Photography - BA (Hons)_2020_Reclamation of the Exposition _2.jpg
Tayo Adekunle
Reclamation of the Exposition

What has been your favourite thing about ECA? And Edinburgh?

My favourite thing about ECA was the nice sense of community where everyone could see each other's work in the studios and mixed crits. My favourite thing about Edinburgh is probably Arthur's Seat. I can see if from my bedroom window and it is lovely to wake up to.
 

What are your hopes for life after ECA? Do you have any plans?

I've started working with a gallery called Studio Chapple in London and I hope to keep working with them in the future.
 

Is there anything you'd like to share about your experience studying here, perhaps relating to the things you've learned?

All I can recommend is to try and use as many facilities as possible, and don't be afraid to ask any of the technicians for help.

 

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