Since 2014, British moving image and performance artist Michelle Williams Gamaker has been developing ‘fictional activism’: the restoration of people of colour performing in 20C British and Hollywood films.
In her work, such performers migrate from marginalised characters to central figures, returning to challenge the fictional injustices to which they have been historically consigned.
Distant Relative marks a new chapter in this exploration, with a focus on Williams Gamaker’s self-confessed obsessive journey into the life of Hollywood film star Sabu, whom she first came across in Black Narcissus (Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger, 1947).
In her first solo-show at Tintype, Michelle Williams Gamaker presents Distant Relative as a reconstruction; somewhere between schoolroom, cinema, and court of law. It is a site of shared and elusive personal histories.