If you have been paying attention to #CindyGate, chances are you're already familiar with the work of multi-disciplinary artist and musician E.Jane, aka @E_SCRAAATCH, aka Mhysa. A few weeks ago, that artist spearheaded a much-needed conversation about photographer Cindy Sherman's 1976 series of portraits in blackface with the hashtag, which led to a much-circulated discussion online. The Creators Project published a piece on #CindyGate last week featuring an interview with E.Jane, and you can read about it more depth via the "#Cindygate and the use of Blackface in white performance art" Storify they published.
Once you've done that, it's crucial that you return here to watch the video for "power cuts," Mhysa's terrific new collaboration on NON Records with label co-founder and Rabit-collaborator Chino Amobi, released late last week. Against a hypnotizing, industrially tinged beat, the artist hangs out with dj haram, DJ Precolumbian, and Genesis Martinez-Crespo, dancing and taking selfies, all set against against stark hues of pink and blue. The beat eventually coalesces into a computerized voice that seems to say, "back end power activated."In a post to their Tumblr a few days after the video's release, E.Jane provided what might be construed as some valuable context for the song: "I am not an identity artist just because I am a Black artist with multiple selves. I am not grappling with notions of identity and representation in my art. I'm grappling with safety and futurity. We are beyond asking should we be in the room. We are in the room. We are also dying at a rapid pace and need a sustainable future." Read the full post here.Follow Alexander on Twitter.