First Nations artist Amrita Hepi, in partnership with Horsham Regional Art Gallery, presents a dynamic roadside encounter titled Aint no body. Featuring tiled images of her body in motion, the work responds to the “commercial idealisation of the black body” by appropriating the aesthetics of a typical sports or dance advertisement. The promises that such advertisements sell – promises of perfectionism and success as liberation – are, as Hepi puts it, ultimately a myth.
Aint no body considers the archetypes that exist in relation to black bodies. In particular, the work looks to those spaces where the body labours – in dance, in competitive sport, on the screen – to question the constant motion in expectation of excellence. The discipline and control usually demanded of the black body is challenged in this work, with Hepi ’s body propelled by an unknown force – is she jumping or falling? The multiform images narrow in on individual frames of movement so that what the audience sees are the moments in-between, when the body is at the whim of air and gravity. With this, Hepi suggests that rest, especially for the black body, is never assured.
This regional billboard also takes into consideration its roadside location, the constant flow of cars and trucks echoed by the multitudes of Hepi.
Aint no body is a Horsham Regional Art Gallery exhibition presented in partnership with NETS Victoria and curated by Jenna Rain Warwick. This project has been assisted by the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria.
Image credits: Amrita Hepi, Aint no body (detail) 2022, digital photograph, 3 x 6 m. Courtesy the artist and Anna Schwartz Gallery.
Image Description: Black and white tiled images of the artist in a black leotard with long dark hair falling or jumping through the air, against a white background. Overlaid text reads ‘AINT NO BODY.’
The Public Galleries Association of Victoria (PGAV) acknowledges the Wurundjeri Woi-Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation as the Traditional Owners of the lands where our office is located, and all Traditional Owners of country throughout Victoria and Australia. We recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples enduring traditions and continuing creative cultures. We pay our respect to Elders past, present and emerging.