The visionaries making a black utopia

“I thought [The Black Fantastic] was a beautiful concept, both academically and personally,” says Viktor. “For me, it’s the raising of this idea of blackness to a fantastical realm, which doesn’t have to be anathema to the everyday life of blackness. I like to juggle this idea of the ‘micro-cosmic’: the mundane things we grapple with in society, along with the much larger conversations.”

Diaspora perspectives, emotional immediacy, and the creative range of “ordinary” materials are key elements throughout In the Black Fantastic. In Viktor’s case, her worldview was also informed by her upbringing in Britain and the US, and her education at an international school: “To me, borders are confining – and that extends beyond our contemporary time, into ancient cultures and histories. When human beings communicate through symbols or pre-verbal modes, they kind of transcend this idea of locale.”

Viktor’s work projects the powerful frequencies of colour: deeply hypnotic “Klein Blue”; richly meditative reds; 24K gold embellishments. “I’m not a big fan of ‘white wall’ galleries and the idea that white is a blank pure canvas; I don’t think it’s true either,” she says. “I like to always saturate the viewer in colour, and let that work in tandem with the space.”

She has argued that to speak one’s truth is the ultimate freedom; she reflects that mainstream recognition presents its own obstacles. “There was a naivete before; it felt very pure and sincere,” she says. “Now, there’s definitely more focus on your process, but at the same time, your job as an artist is to keep that communication clear. I love that quote by [20th-Century dance choreographer] Martha Graham: ‘You have to keep yourself open and aware to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open.'”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *