Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art: Feminist Art Base: Oreet Ashery

Colored Folks

Colored Folks

Oreet Ashery. Colored Folks, 2002–2004.

"Colored Folks" ( 2002- 4) was a collaboration between Oreet Ashery and Shaheen Merali, based on the idea of Ashery becoming a black man, whilst Merlai, a white woman. The process of regular discussions around identity and becoming, took place over a number of months. "Colored Folks" was first performed in Toynbee Hall, where Ashery and Merely where transformed in a room away from the audience over a number of hours by the make up artist and stylist, the late Brixton Bradley. A live feed was projecting the footage into a monitor in a second space where people where having drinks, socialising and watching the progress. A VJ was mixing live footage from the past few months process leading to the performance and from the performance itself, so sense of time got distorted. Offica Humana took polaroid images at every stage and brought them out to hang in the social space. At the end, Brixton rolled Ashery and Merali out on chairs to face the audience and the limitation of make up. "Colored Folks" was performed at Artsadmin, Toynbee Hall, presented and included in workshops at the ICA, London; the video was shown at the NRLV, Glasgow, and the prints were shown at the Centre of Attention show, "A Man, A Woman, A Machine."


race, Shaheen Merali, performance, gender, identity, Brixton Bradley

Colored FolksMarcus Fisher, boy to manRight, LeftPortrait SketchReturning InteractionDrawingsVillage series I

Why do you think I left?



Text, images, audio, and/or video in the Feminist Art Base are copyrighted by the contributing artists unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved.