Chromogenic Print on Sintra
Blind people navigate spaces and visual representations often built on the expectations of a sighted world. Soberat's portrait of a totally blind African American man bears witness to this tension, offering a meditation on blindness, the invisible or unseen, the unseeable, and the overlooked. It confronts the entwinement of structural ableism and racism as dual forces of oppression by asking us to consider the subject's personhood and humanity.
In this meditation on the nature of the unseeable through the lens of death, Soberats gives presence and form to the transmigration of souls. An African American man covered with a cloth lays on a sidewalk, surrounded by an intimate throng of mourners. Light and darkness converge as shared, rather than polarizing forces, structuring a network of unspoken communication across bodies.
Two black and white photographic prints by Sonia Soberats mounted side by side on the gallery wall. On the right, "Ben" captures the face of an African-American man with his eyes closed, his fingers gently tugging at the base of each eye. On the left, in "Death Watch" two figures stand over a shrouded body, observing as glittering energy rises from his body. Image credit: Richard Lomibao