C&: Is there a way for you to describe actualization, what could it look and feel like?
FD: It’s a highly individual experience. I call it being forged through the fire, and one has to go through that process. It is like a form of alchemy.
C&: Finally, the female figure is a motif in your oeuvre. What are you working through here? How does it help you endure the space between possibility and actualization?
FD: The female figure is something I have been using predominantly because it is readily available, meaning it is myself. I don’t have to pay myself and I am reliable. I want to challenge the ideas of how women are supposed to be a particular size, a particular look. What is supposed to be seen as feminine and beautiful. I wanted to get to a place where I make myself so uncomfortable using myself in my artwork, to get out of my comfort zone, that it has now become comfortable. It was first about challenging myself and then about pushing the idea of the feminine hero, but also about finally looking at the mental aspect of all this. It is from all three of these points that I have built my story.
Florine Démosthène: Between Possibility and Actuality at Mariane Ibrahim in Chicago, USA, until 21 Dec 2019.
Florine Démosthène was born in the United States and raised between Port-au-Prince, Haiti and New York. She now resides between New York, Accra and Johannesburg. Démosthène earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Parsons the New School for Design in New York and her Master of Fine Arts from Hunter College-City University of New York.
Magnus Elias Rosengarten is a writer and artist currently based in Los Angeles.