The work of the French-born photographer Lucia Roxwho lives and works between Paris and London, crosses several universes, from fashion to beauty via portraiture and landscape photography, bringing the medium back to its fundamental elements – light, shadow, color and movement – or exploring forms derived from her own life experience, such as black femininity.
Rox’s latest project, in particular, sees these worlds collide. Title POWER, PAIN, PRIVILEGEthe audiovisual work is created in collaboration with specimensthe musical pseudonym of London artist and producer Alex Ives (which will also be released POWER, PAIN, PRIVILEGE as a full atmospheric LP later this year).
Working together, the duo created a 20-minute film that oscillates between abstract visuals, archival footage and original cinematography featuring looks like Mowalola, AhluwaliaAnd Nicholas Daley. Many of these shots, in fact, veer towards abstraction, zooming in on dancing shadows, saxophones and images of black hair, blurring the lines between subject and object.
Ambiguity is not an error. With French-Congolese and British-Jamaican origins, respectively, Rox and Specimen are no strangers to the liminal spaces explored in the film, which explores the sense of limbo that exists between two distinct heritages whose ties have been “rendered ambiguous if not rotten.” by the violence of colonial history”.
Centered on the complexities of biracial identity, POWER, PAIN, PRIVILEGE also opens with a robotic voice reading excerpts from the infamous Fletcher Report, a “cold, analytical and dehumanizing” document from the 1930s that strongly stigmatized mixed-race families and children of African and European descent. While the damaging effects of such reports still resonate today, POWER, PAIN, PRIVILEGE is finally a way to fight back: “An abstract illustration of finding one’s own power in self-acceptance, in the assurance that we are all entitled to multiplicity.
POWER, PAIN, PRIVILEGE premiered in the Purcell Rooms at the Southbank Center in October 2022, but you can still catch a screening with a live score by Specimens in Paris on March 4, 2023 (plus a DJ set by Kleopatra Divine). Take a closer look at what’s in store via the gallery above and pre-order the album here.