“I see you — anew,” Los Angeles artist Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle seems to say to the West Africans in photographs from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, which she alters, reimagines and reclaims with paint and India ink in her “The Uninvited” series.
Those works — along with pieces from “The Kentifrica Project” and “TheTituba Series” — are now on exhibit in “Who Among Us … The Art of Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle” at the Museum of the African Diaspora.
In “The Uninvited,” Hinkle faces — then artfully defaces — the way that the colonialist’s gaze has rendered the black body as an exotic, eroticized “other.” The other also plays a central role in her “Tituba” pieces, which spin off the titular character of Maryse Condé’s 1992 novel, “I, Tituba, Black Witch of Salem,” while her “Kentifrica” sculptures look to a continent loaded with Afrofuturist possibility. In an attempt to quell old traumas that continue to touch us today, Hinkle is forging new fictions, new mythologies.
— Kimberly Chun