Tanoa Sasraku

United Kingdom




Pierrot Mulatto must catch a giant sycamore seed that spins down every day from the arms of Harlequin Jack, a crazed black man in whiteface driven mad by his own quest for British acceptance. Jack toys with Pierrot throughout the story, performing a satirical essence of white British sensibility whilst referencing early minstrel troupes’ caricatures of the post-slavery, black populace.

“Drawing from the tropes of mime and minstrelsy, the titular character of Tanoa Sasraku’s O’ Pierrot (played by the artist herself) acts out the Sisyphean task of catching a falling leaf day after day whilst being taunted by a black harlequin in white face. Sasraku’s experience of growing up as a mixed-race gay woman in the English countryside, grappling with the notion of British identity, is channeled into this fantastical performance. Its aesthetic choice to utilise bygone cinematic tropes positions the work as if a ‘lost classic’ of film history, perhaps an attempt by the artist to retrospectively re-write the canon and see herself reflected in it.”
— Dan Guthrie

Showing in:

UK COMPETITION: Close Quarters

20/01/21, 19:00


UK COMPETITION: Close Quarters (at BFI)

28/06/21, 17:30

BFI Southbank