It was just yesterday

Corbett, Shawanda
Shawanda Corbett’s practice spans painting, ceramics, poetry and performance. Using her perspective as a differently-abled, Black woman, she examines cycles of human life through cyborg theory to question what constitutes a complete body. In an update to Donna Haraway’s 1985 essay A Cyborg Manifesto, which rejects rigid boundaries separating human from animal and human from machine, Corbett sees being a cyborg as using anything mechanical – a pottery wheel, for instance, to enhance one’s life. The photographs It was just yesterday and Now go around the corner and get your brother, both 2021, show the artist facing the camera, her face masked in clay slip and streaked with gestural lines. They reference silent films from the 1920s and 1930s, such as those starring Buster Keaton, whose deadpan expression earned him the nickname ‘The Great Stone Face’. Corbett’s decorative mark-making connects with her ceramics, which often take the form of vessels, to represent bodies. She relates to the medium of clay because she considers people as a metaphor for malleability – we start in an original form and as life, time and environments shift continuously, we are in a constant state of undoing.
  • Artwork Details: 80.5 x 119.8cm
  • Edition: 4 of 5 + 2 AP
  • Material description: Chromogenic print
  • Credit line: © the artist. Image courtesy of the artist, Salon 94, New York and Corvi-Mora, London
  • Theme:
  • Medium: Print
  • Accession number: ACC20/2020



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