What does it mean to have multiple geographies imposed onto one body? And what happens when we think we know everything but in fact, we don’t? And how, in the attempt to erase historical mistakes, does the action draw attention to itself, re-exposing buried facts? Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle describes her work as an exploration of historical detritus existing in the “historical present,” a term signifying how we are all chained together through past and present. Channeling the narratives of thousands of black women who have been erased by history, Hinkle depicts them as fictional figures in her hundred-plus drawings from The Evanesced. These abstracted “un-portraits,” minimal yet provocative, represent women bearing the physiological and psychological manifestation of cumulative, trans-generational trauma, human trafficking, homicide and domestic violence.
In her Uninvited series, Hinkle metaphorically explores the virus-host relationship of the French African occupation and the Black female body by marking up 19th-century postcards from Europe that depict West African women in sexualized positions, occasionally giving the women alternative backgrounds or shielding their bodies from their captors.
The Kentifrica Project is Hinkle’s ongoing auto-ethnographic project about a hybrid, contested geography. What began for her as a personal narrative exploring fissures of identity eventually transformed to embrace the notion of unknown ancestral origins, shifting the narrative away from a story of trauma and loss. The project opened up collaborations and interpretations about Kentifrica through panel discussions and re-created artifacts. In the process, Kentifrica has morphed into a physical and theoretical place in which a living archive could evolve. More info at www.kachstudio.com.