10 Total Disappearance, v.2 (video still)

“Total Disappearance, 1905 v.2 (video still)”
archival pigment print on Canson paper

Onajide Shabaka’s “Total Disappearance 1905” (2012) reveals the multiple physical and metaphysical layers of a landscape through a one minute and 11 second narrated video of a bayou. The intentionally sepia tinted footage removes at once our desire to exoticize the form and color of Shabaka’s landscape. His monologue comes off starkly robotic and matter of fact — an android-like voice atop of an organic oasis. “Total Disappearance 1905” is a true story of what we see and what we hear, not because the cinéaste tells us this but because it is a reality we commonly witness. Gean Moreno