Between 2014 and 2017, McClodden revived the work of deceased Black queer artists who were active during the 1980s AIDS epidemic, including the poet and activist Essex Hemphill. Here, McClodden remakes a scene from Marlon Riggs’s essay-film Tongues Untied (1989), in which Hemphill recites a passage from writer Audre Lorde’s Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches (1984). McClodden describes the video as “a portrait of self-contained conflict and rage,” with Hemphill gazing directly into the camera. Conceived as a “duet” between Hemphill and Lorde, it also underscores Hemphill’s commitment to Black feminist thought, highlighting the transfer of language and influence from one poet-activist to another.
Gallery label from 2022