Dirt Eater

Dirt Eater, 2019
Sculpture and HD Color Video With Sound
Soil, clay, steel, patina, bricks, wax, kanekalon, incense, wood and steel armature, 6ft x 3ft x 3ft
Video Runtime: 7min 29sec, loop
Installation view, In Practice: Other Objects, SculptureCenter, New York, 2019

Dirt Eater resurfaces the act of geophagy, consuming dirt, practiced among enslaved Africans in the Caribbean and American South. For the project I referenced 19th century drawings of enslaved Black people wearing torture masks as punishment for transgressive acts, including consuming dirt. I sourced soil, bricks, and debris from the ruins of a plantation in St. Croix, my ancestral homelands, as material for the sculpture. In the accompanying video performance I engage in the act of geophagy. Read more about the project in the exhibition catalogue for In Practice: Other Objects.

Images: Kyle Knodell