Mapping the black body

Michael Forbes (1962 - )

UV polar print mounted on dibond

2019 - 2020
  • About the work
    Country: UK
    City: London
    Place: Government Art Collection

    Michael Forbes developed Mapping the Black Body in response to being asked “Why the black body?” in relation to sketches of proposed new work at Royal College of Art during his MA studies. He used mind mapping software to materialise theoretical and historical research alongside lived experiences, incorporating projections on the black body from all sectors of society. Terms included and put into relation with one another are, amongst many: conditioning, incarceration, strength, Afro Punk, knowledge, religion, Slave Trade, White spaces, consciousness, and desire. 

    Working across sculpture, photography and installation, Forbes’s practice explores contemporary racial politics and migration, which are informed by contemporary debates on race, class, wealth, history, religion and his personal experience.

  • About the artist
    Having trained in Photography at Nottingham Trent University (BA, 1995–98), Michael Forbes first exhibited in 1997 at the Rencontres Internationales de la Photographie d’Arles. More recently, his work was included in the Diaspora Pavilion of the 2017 Venice Biennale, before returning to study for an MA in sculpture at the Royal College of Art in London (2018–20). The winner of Black Achievers Award for Arts, Media and Culture (2017), Forbes was further nominated for Paul Hamlyn Prize (2018) and selected for a residence at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park (2020–21).
  • Explore
    Materials & Techniques
    Alu-Dibond, print (as object name), UV print
  • Details
    Mapping the black body
    One of an edition of 5
    2019 - 2020
    UV polar print mounted on dibond
    height: 158.0 cm; width: 158 cm; depth: 0.4 cm
    Purchased from the artist March 2021, through the Art XUK project 2020-21
    The artist; from whom purchased by UK Government Art Collection, 19 March 2021
    GAC number