Madeline et Margo, 2022
Ebun Sodipo’s large collages consist of low-resolution found footage from film and the internet often paired with archival material, not originally intended for print. Sodipo researches historical references and constantly thrives on seeking more information; drawing on the past to visualise her idea of an alternative future.
Speak! Features lips of singing and speaking trans women spewing what looks like fire, which are, in fact, fragments from burning police stations taken from the internet. The lips are a metonym for one’s voice, the ability to speak their rights and being into existence, opposing the oppressive structures that reveal their fragile state.
The superimposed image Madeline-Margo portrays two women from different times. The cropped version of Marie-Guillemine Benoist’s Portrait of Madeleine (1800) depicts a free Black woman painted in the years following the French abolition of slavery. It is believed that Madeleine sat for Benoist, one of the very few women Salon artists, in Paris. This image is paired with an archival photograph of a trans woman, Margo, wearing a leather dress. Their pairing presents us with bodies who simultaneously symbolise freedom and exploitation.
Ebun Sodipo lives and works in London.