Fractions & Equivalences Blackboard

Chalk [1m X 2m]

Blood lines have justified wealth and status within the aristocratic circles whilst segregating black from white in poorer quarters. Based upon the principle that Queen Charlotte (1744-1818), [wife of King George III, Queen Victoria’s grandmother] had the “true face of a mulatto”, this provocative piece, entitled “Fractions & Equivalences”, is a visual dissection of admixture equations that redraws the British royal family tree as a genogram of strategic mating and breeding designed to dilute the black gene. Her royal lineage links her Negroid features, through the black branch of the Portuguese royal family, to an African princess of the Algarves, [Madelena Gil or Mourana Gil] who had an illegitimate son with Alfonso III, King of Portugal in the 13th Century.

The blackboard is an educational tool where layers upon layers of knowledge are passed onto the next generation. In this case, references are made to Castas paintings [a genre dedicated to recording the status and lineage of people of mixed blood (Spanish/Indian/Negro) in 18th century Latin America] and the work of the anthropologist Caroline Bond Day [who recorded photographic evidences of wealthy mulatto families in the United States in the 1930s]. The chalk mark making is easily erased yet the editing is crucial in forming one’s own identity.