Fuck BAME (term used to refer to members of non-white communities in the UK)
Raimi Gbadamosi, Konzeptkünstler, Kurator und Forscher, Johannesburg
Raimi Gbadamosi ist ein britischer Konzeptkünstler und Schriftsteller, der sich in seiner Arbeit mit Fragen der Identität und Kunstgeschichte befasst. Er ist Mitglied der Interdisziplinären Forschungsgruppe «Afroeuropeans» der Universität León (Spanien) und der Gruppe «Schwarzer Körper» am Goldsmiths College, London.
Fuck BAME is a nine-panel text sculptural wall-mounted work. Each panel is 1080 mm by 667 mm (final dimensions will depend on frame size). The work can be installed as a line of nine panels, or as a series of three panels above each other. In either case they will be installed equidistant from each other, and in the numbered sequence. Below the panels will be placed laser cut black letters to form fuck BAME.
In the desire to isolate non-white people in this United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, language and bodies have been contorted to meet the overarching ideology of racial superiority of who names and who can be named. Exemplified in the faux-autobiographical relationship between the shipwrecked slaver Robinson Crusoe and Friday, Robinson makes it clear in his narration that the only form of address and naming he can accept from a person he barely considers human, is Master. Master is acceptable to Robinson, it being a word that is simultaneously name, position, and title, and ensures that Friday will always know his place. Amusingly, one can only assume ‘Friday’ does not know the meaning of the word ‘Master’ and therefore merely treats it as Robinson’s name. What is of prime importance in this exchange is Robinson’s sense of self that already had a place for the racial other. It matters that Friday is demeaned in his naming, and Robinson’s status is reinforced each time Friday hails him.
The ability to name, to constantly remind the racial other they are never quite the same as the namers, has moved to the openly offensive to attempts at ‘factual’ descriptions. These attempts do no more that entrench the ‘them and us’ racial slurs were supposed to maintain. The quasi-official designators that follow one another in the search for the perfect way to call another other without the burden of apology for implicit or explicit offence, will continue. For the time being BAME is that term, so fuck it.
Raimi Gbadamosi is an artist, writer and curator and academic. He received his Doctorate in Fine Art from the Slade School of Fine Art. He is a member of the Interdisciplinary Research Group ‘Afroeuropeans’, University of Leon, Spain, and the ‘Black Body’ group, Goldsmiths College, London; he is also on the Editorial board of Third Text. He is currently appointed as Head of Visual Practice at the De Monfort University Leicester. Work media include multiples, music, websites, writing and audience participation. Works create debate, instead of representing preconceived concerns defined by specific social, cultural and political positions.