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Rest as Revolution: The Speculative Nature of Lynette YiadomBoakye’s Figurations by JaBrea Patterson-West


Race, resistance, rage, rebellion — words that are presently etched into the forefronts of everyone’s mind. As cities burn, glistening with the fire of destruction that is almost always a result of endured pain and catastrophic silence, hashtags trend, funds are redistributed, and statements of virtue are published. We march, cry, yell out for our mothers, we repeat the words that we have expressed so many times before: “I can’t breathe.” And it is true both literally and figuratively. George Floyd, Eric Garner, and Sandra Bland, quite literally, could not breathe. But the rest of us are also breathless. Always struggling to be heard, or to survive. Existing in a limbo that depends on our theoretical knowledge of what it means to be free and our simultaneous lack of freedom in any

Repose I, 2015. Oil on canvas. 35.6 × 21.9 × 1.5 in. Courtesy of the artist; Corvi-Mora, London; and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York. © Lynette Yiadom-Boakye.

proximate reality. Thus, revolution is the logical

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