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Dave Mackenzie

A discussion between Dave Mackenzie and Meadows Professor Mary Walling-Blackburn.

Dave Mackenzie

Mackenzie’s works, which are often manifested in video or performance, explore identity, race and public (re)presentation of self. His work is about vantage points of public representation and how these positions are open and available to slippages of interpretation. As such, McKenzie has frequently made use of his own likeness in his work, which straddles a world of humor and deep serious issues. In the video Wilfred and Me (2012) for example, the side-profiled McKenzie repeats the phrase “Magic Johnson has AIDS,” a phrase whose meanings reveal themselves over time. What initially seems like a performance of a minimalist mantra, over time develops layers of meaning: poignant, exhausting, at times literally gut-wrenching, dealing with issues of hero worship, representations of masculinity, mortality, the AIDS crisis (especially as manifested in the black community) and ultimately personal truth.

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