In the portrait of an artist: Trailblazing Conversations with Creative Women (Prestel), artist Hugo Huerto Marine Couples close the Polaroid portrait with interviews with 30 of the most attractive women in the world. Below is an excerpt from the book of conversations between Marin and singer FKA Twigs.
Hugo Huarta Marin: You use a wide range of dance styles, from pole dancing to vogueing, wushu and cramping. What kind of physical activity speaks best to you?
FKA Twigs: It’s hard. I love them all. And I like to be around people who work for them. I haven’t enjoyed it in a while, and it’s not that I don’t like it: it’s because I don’t spend so much time in New York. When I live in New York I love to hang out with my friends who enjoy it, and I immerse myself completely in that world, because it’s so authentic. I’ve noticed that when I’m not in New York and I try to do it, it feels compelling. I like to do things depending on where I am in the world … I just like to learn and get involved in culture, and so I dedicate time to do it, because time is the most precious thing – one thing that we all run out of. I love that conscious sacrifice for learning something. I find it very sexy … to be around something because you enjoy it, it’s beautiful.
HHM: How did you discover the first ball scene?
FT: In a strange way. I started enjoying it when I was twelve years old, and I used to create my own watching routine. I only had a few videos, but I didn’t really know what I was watching. One of my uncles used to enjoy it, so he would teach me some vogue moves. But I didn’t know what it was, you know, I was a kid – I just knew it was a dance, a style, but I didn’t really understand the roots of it. Then, as I was making my album in New York in 2012, I was chatting with Arka and Shine. [Oliver] Hood by air, and I think maybe Arkai took me to Esquelita for the first time and I completely fell in love with it. There, I met a dancer named Derek Prodigy, who offered to teach me how to enjoy, and they took me straight under their wings. I wasn’t a well-known singer then, I was just a girl from London, and they were just … I don’t know, I liked them, and they liked me, and I went to meet some amazing people.
So, I started training with Derek Prodigy and then with Alex Mugler, and it really took me a long time to figure out what style I had and to be honest with you, something to enjoy that I’m still not very good at. I will say that I feel insecure, and the reason I feel insecure is because I don’t have enough in New York. To me vogue is not just a dance class, it’s not just a practice at home; To me it’s going to match someone in the ballroom and really understand what that scene is. I think that’s why I love being in New York so much, because I feel most authentic when I’m there and doing it. So, I don’t know, I just like to try and find out …
HHM: The spirit of things?
FT: Right, soul. I mean, I love Wushu and I haven’t been to China yet, but I’ve learned from people who are really legit in the Wushu community. My first teacher, Master Hu, choreographed the Chinese Olympics and was in the film with Bruce Lee – you can’t be more legitimate than that – so, I don’t know, I just like to immerse myself in the culture, even if it sounds a little naive.
HHM: I think that’s true. I’m not a big fan of electronic music, but whenever I go to Berlin and go to Bergen and feel the essence of electronic music, it kind of inspires your soul …
HHM: Thus, vogueing used body language as a formal structure and was always a form of resistance.
HHM: And it has made a huge comeback in recent years. Do you think it will bring up other issues, such as then? Or would it explode how little things have changed, especially for trans women of color or strange people of color?
FT: I think it’s really hard to comment … because if enjoyment is part of queer culture, I think people outside of that community are looking at just one aspect, the functional side of it. Vogue is painful but it’s a very beautiful aspect of that culture, so I don’t know if Vogue is directly helping the gay, trans or queer community … where does that trans woman live? What about where people in the community are working? Are they safe? You know, anyone who isn’t part of the community, just watching someone suffer doesn’t really understand these things. To be honest with you, I feel the same way about the black community, the way blacks often experience blacks only through entertainment, dance, music or sports. It’s almost patronizing and unaware of being involved in one side of a culture … My point is it’s a sword of hesitation. I would say that I am a friend of the curious community, or want to think of myself as such, but it is difficult to talk about certain things that I am not a direct part of. I think I can speak as a minority, as a woman of color … So, let’s put it this way: I think that those who are not a minority themselves – those who do not find themselves in a sector of society are oppressed or misunderstood – can be a problem when they only Gains experience of minorities through entertainment and sports. I just feel like these things aren’t really drawing.
HHM: Absolutely. It reminds me of my conversation with artist Carrie May Weims, where she said that there is a kind of change in thinking in culture nowadays, but thinking is not complicated, it is reactive. Incorporating black or brown people into cultural projects … but the question is more, can we get you? Rather: What is the structure of your contribution?
FT: First of all, Carrie May Wims is my favorite artist. Let’s mention the work of Carrie May Wims – it’s a very, very personal conversation that I’ve had with myself many times.
HHM: All right.
FT: I went to see the work of Carrie May Wims in Tate a few years ago, and she had an exhibition where there were different pictures of blacks with the title – “Cooking,” or “Home” or “Field” – and a beautiful Marilyn Monroe satin dress surrounded by white men. There was a picture of a light-skinned black woman, and at the bottom of the picture it said “collaborator” and that picture hit me so hard, so, so hard … I got so emotional and I really had to take a step back and what does that mean to me I had to think about it. I mean, as a dark-skinned woman, I can say that getting to where I am now was not easy. My honest dad put me up at a very young age – I was seven or eight – and he told me: “Because of the color of your skin, you have to work twice as hard as the white girl next to you, and if you want to win, you need the white girl next to you.” I have to be twice as good as the girl. And as I get older, people ask me: “Twigs, you’re such a good dancer, how are you so good?” The truth is that I know I’m good because I’m insecure … because I knew Especially when I was younger আমাকে I had to be twice as good to get out of my situation from a working family.You know, I grew up on benefits, I paid for government meals, I grew up for my college education. Growing up in love, but financially poor.We were really poor sometimes, and for me to get out of that position, I had to train hard … twice harder.Even now, at my age, inside I still feel like I’m constantly I’m in survival mode, and to be honest, never a It is also tiring. But don’t get me wrong, I know I’m lucky, and I know that what I wanted in life was a stable roof over my head, and now I’m lucky that I have one. My point is that I have to be attentive and know where I stand, and when I saw that Carrie May Wims’ picture was a kind of reminder, because I don’t want to be that, I don’t want to be a collaborator on anything problematic. , And I always have to think about that, what I’m doing, because I know where I came from, and I know my roots and I know how hard I had to work … I don’t know what that means, but I know that the image is always on the back of my mind.
Its author is Hugo Huarta Marin Portrait of an Artist: Trailblazing Conversations with Creative Women (Prestel), from which it is quoted.
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