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The University of Manitoba campuses are located on original lands of Anishinaabeg, Cree, Ojibwe-Cree, Dakota, and Dene peoples, and on the National Homeland of the Red River Métis. More

Storying Exhibition

Artwork Gallery

Artist Statement

Artist Name: Fabina Germain

Title: The Carpet Told Me​

Medium: digital

Year: 2020


Artist Statement:

This work is a self-portrait taken on a digital camera. I am faced away from the camera and therefore the viewer, allowing them to freely observe my partially nude figure without my knowing. However, I have intervened upon the piece by drawing a haunting facial expression over my own. In doing so, I have caught the audience in the action of exacting their gaze upon me for their own viewing pleasure. This forces the viewer to reexamine the power of the gaze by undermining their own and acknowledging that I am aware of their eyes watching me. This piece is inspired by a short writing I did, called “The Carpet Told Me”. Rather than reflecting the writing as a whole, it functions as a continuation of the last two lines “The carpet told me my eyes have power, and it told me how to use it too” by reclaiming my body from the viewer. This illustration of the power imbalance between subject and viewer also reflects the use of black women's bodies as a means of exoticicised and sexualized entertainment.