Michael., cleave to the BLACK, 2022, Commissioned for the Jerwood/FVU Awards 2022. Installation view at Jerwood Space. Photo: Anna Arca.

The Cape and the Cloak

Kayo Chingonyi

‘There is a poem by Terrance Hayes which came immediately to mind when I started watching cleave to the BLACK, Michael.’s three-screen meditation on masculinity, psychogeography, and blackness. In the poem, Hayes, in characteristic ludic guise, explores the ways one word can hide in another — generating sometimes divergent resonances. ‘cleave’ meaning to hold steadfastly can also be ‘cleave’ meaning to separate (and ‘leave’ is there, chilling in both, hinting at this ambiguity).’

 

Award-winning poet Kayo Chingonyi responds to cleave to the BLACK, by Jerwood/FVU Awards 2022 artist Michael.