Steeve Bauras (France)

Musée National du Mali


In 2013, Steeve Bauras participated in an artist residency program at the Institut français in Dakar. The resulting 3K Project is a multimedia installation consisting of a video projection and photographs capturing skateboard performances. The artist centres the project on a film extract from Samuel Fuller’s 1963 American action film Shock Corridor. Bauras strategically selected an excerpt in which the film’s schizophrenic character, Trent, portrayed by the actor Hari Rhodes, is one of the first black students to integrate into a southern university in America. Yet, ironically, Trent believes he is the founder of the Ku Klux Klan, the American white supremacist group. We thus see the men- tally-ill Trent despairing civil rights by chanting, “Burn those freedom riders !”

Focusing on young black males navigating the streets of Dakar on skateboards, the installation’s photo series continues the artist’s inquiry into cognitive experiences of form and subject. Through kaleidoscopic multimedia interplay, akin to clicking through a View Master, the artist triggers shifts in the viewer’s visual cognition of black male subjectivity and intra-community racism.

The viewer goes back and forth in a non-linear film- ic structure. A skater on Dakar’s streets. Trent’s speech. The running of black ink on a white wall. In abstracting the black-and-white footage of the Fuller film, one cannot easily identify Trent’s race. This playful contraption redirects both our visual as well as our psychological perception of racialized experience.

Born in 1982 in Fort-de-France, Martinique –
Lives in Paris

Institut Français
Ministère de la Culture de l’Artisanat et du Tourisme du Mali