Introducing wet dreams & 200 Little deaths

“Wet Dreams” is my love letter to black womxn.

The series “Wet Dreams” will feature 200 pieces to be displayed as the installation, “200 Little Deaths.”

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The titles of the series and installation “Wet Dreams” and “200 Little Deaths” allude to the overarching theme connecting the work:

Black womxn claiming autonomy over their bodies and lives. There has never been anything as policed, disrespected, feared, and lusted after as the black femme body.

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The the title of the installation, “200 Little Deaths”, is derived from the French term, “Le Petit Mort” or “the little death”, referring to orgasm.

This term itself is a strange conflation of violence and pleasure, sexuality and death. Both are lenses in which society continues to view and engage black female-presenting bodies.

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In “Wet Dreams”, I confront the collective societal acceptance of the Madonna-Whore Paradigm, religious expectations of patriarchal purity, and the hyper-sexualization of black femme bodies.

—but what does she mean??—

My quick examples of those three:

  • madonna whore paradigm: “you can’t turn a hoe into a house wife.”

  • patriarchal purity/religious expectations: in Christianity, womxn are taught to be modest to keep the man from lusting.

  • hypersexualization: “black girls are wild in bed”, “you have DSLs (dick sucking lips)”, etc.

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In the “200 Little Deaths” installation, each piece is suspended from the ceiling, at once delicately floating within reach and life-size—ready to confront the viewer.

Suspended by a transparent wire, the womxn float in and out of view, fading further into their own blackness as they rotate between this reality and the next.

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The color black is the unifying element in the installation, serving both as a backdrop that stages this reclamation of agency, as well as the source of strength and confidence that is found in returning to and becoming part of the collective blackness in the African Diaspora.

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More to come.

Aesthetically yours,

Christina Nicola