NOTES ON VANDALISM: TSCHABALALA SELF
Tschabalala Self: Seated, 2022, Installation view, De la Warr Pavilion, Bexhill-on-Sea. Photography: Thierry Bal
Notes on Vandalism
Tschabalala Self, 21 May 2023
I am very disheartened that my sculpture Seated (2022) was targeted and attacked by vandals. Despite my disappointment I am not surprised as Black and Female – and especially because Black Female bodies are often targets for abuse. Seated proudly represents the beauty of both blackness and femininity, and for these very reasons she has been harmed: covered by her assailant with white spray paint in a futile attempt to erase her colour and, in my mind, her strength. Despite these efforts, she remains in place and will continue to do so until her time at De La Warr Pavilion is complete.
Many have derived joy from Seated, and through community support she will be restored to her former likeness. I hope that the violence enacted on the sculpture illuminates the persistent issues plaguing the Global West. Painting the skin of my sculpture white is an obscene act and I feel horribly for individuals in Bexhill-on-Sea for whom this event may have shocked or frightened. To my supporters there, I would like to extend my sincere gratitude and a promise that I will continue to make work that provokes meaningful change and progress in our shared society.Posted by Luke on Monday 22 May 2023