BLACKBERRY PASTORALE: SYMPHONY NO. 1, explores the meanings of the Black femme anatomy. This video work constructs a narrative through the landscape of the blackberry fruit, with accompanying print works that consider the pulp of the blackberry as a tool for mark making. It commemorates and criticizes the presentation of Blackness through the symbolic history and racialized language of the Blackberry fruit. The body is read like a text where interpretations are drawn based on signs, symbols, and culture. Through excavating literary structures & musical compositions, I explore the kindred history of Blackberries with Black bodies and the language that has developed around the relationship between beauty and shame, admiration and contempt. The blackberry like the black body has been harvested and transformed into something animal.
Leila Weefur lives and works in Oakland, CA. Weefur received her MFA from Mills College in 2016.
With a multidisciplinary practice, Weefur tackles the complexities of phenomenological Blackness through video, installation, printmaking, and lecture-performances. Using materials and visual gestures to access the tactile memory, she explores the abject, the sensual and the nuance found in the social interactions and language with which our bodies have to negotiate space. She is a recipient of the Hung Liu award, the Murphy & Cadogan award, and recently completed an artist fellowship at Kala Art Institute. Weefur has exhibited her work in local and national galleries including Southern Exposure and SOMArts Gallery in San Francisco, Betti Ono in Oakland, BAMPFA and Smack Mellon in Brooklyn, New York.