Artist Statement: Billy Gerard Frank

My practice as a multi-disciplinary artist is hinged on the personal, socio-historical and cultural rubrics of exile, migration, and the marginalized, my positionality as a queer man of Afro-Caribbean and Scottish heritage. But what I create and say is not always ‘in context’ and congruent to that specific place and history where I was born. My own perception of culture and history and representation as such is always shifting. However, the emotional rupture, longing, and memory around my past and the place I am from linger as a strong current and the locus of my creative practice. By contesting the division between the realm of
memory and the realm of personal experience, my works reference post-colonial theory as well as the post-modern as a form of resistance and interrogation of political and contemporary social systems. It challenges the binaries we continually construct between (Self) and (Other.)

My mix-media artwork, film, and installation focus the lens on the personal, as well as conflicts around the world: civil disobedience, subversions, and warfare – overt and covert – political and cultural – a (p)ostscript on the last decade and (p)rologue to a new one. My work mines and archives images that I find in the media, personal and historical memories, similar to how an archivist works. It creates an arena in which content and form are conflated. The process of reworking and layering helps me to expand on an image, and the memory, whereby it becomes other, more than just “news headlines” or the “past” but a recollection of a time and place in history. The possible seems true and the truth exists, but it has many faces and alternate

My studio and process are also a place of an ongoing exhibition and installation of the sort for memory and projections. Thematically interrelated materials are always on display as an act of meditation and inspiration: newspaper clippings, text from poetry, music, found objects, etc. This archive serves as a filter that helps to organize my thoughts and spark my waking consciousness and imagination in the studio.


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