Esmaa Mohamoud (b. 1992) is an African-Canadian sculptor/installation artist working in Toronto. Her sculptures and installations focus on the navigation of Black bodies in contemporary spaces. Engaged in the politics surrounding Black male bodies in particular, her recent body of work investigated the (in)tangibility of Blackness through the exploration of athletics—specifically, the sport of basketball. With the use of industrial materials, Mohamoud aims to re-examine our contemporary understanding of Blackness and challenge the relationship of blackness as a colour and shade, and Blackness as a societal or cultural construction of a group of people. Mohamoud graduated from Western University’s Bachelors of Art program in 2014. In 2016, Mohamoud graduated from the Interdisciplinary Arts, Media, and Design Masters Program at the Ontario College of Art and Design University. [esmaamohamoud.com]
Artist: Esmaa Mohamoud
Unwearable (Defence/Offence) is a sculpture installation that consists of 12 black, two-sided masks placed on metal poles arranged in a straight line. The masks will be back-to-back replicas of the faces of volunteers who identify as Black. These two-sided masks disallow people from putting their faces into them, thus symbolically resisting Blackface by making the Black face unwearable. The work functions as a mark of resilience, making Blackness visible on campus without allowing it to be made a caricature.