Reflecting on “IDENTICAL,” a solo exhibition by Bria Goodall, she shares her experience alongside her sister on how skin complexion and representation played a role in how they felt internally about not only themselves, but also how they “fit” their environment.
“IDENTICAL,” provided a different perspective that I did not feel existed: showcasing experiences of ample representation as someone who is darker skinned versus not feeling beautiful or appropriately represented as a lighter skinned Black woman and the relationship to being sisters.
Gooddall shares a very vulnerable story of she and her sister. Both being adopted, they grew up not knowing they were not related by blood. She shares that because one was darker than the other in complexion, that the darker skinned sister needed ample representation to showcase beauty that she could identify with. All of the efforts, provided a world where Goodall could feel strong about herself and not feel insecure or less than due to the media and other historical stigmas. Because of this, her sister often felt left out and less beautiful due to the lack of representation within the household. She goes on to share that most of the family were dark-skinned and so rarely, was there anyone she could see herself in.
I found it so interesting because this is not a common narrative when people discuss skin complexion. More often than not, the narrative tends to be the other way around. Something that I also found pleasure in while perusing the work is that I had to engage with the pieces to see the details of each photo. The photographs were no bigger than 3 x 3 inches creating an even more vulnerable experience for the viewer.
Upon entering into Bolsky Gallery, there are two backpacks with compact discs placed in the front pocket with headphones. Each pair of headphones allows you to listen to each sister share their feelings about identity and how they see themselves in relation to the world socially.
“IDENTICAL,” was apart of Gooddall’s final show before graduating from Otis College of Art and Design. The exhibition debuted on March 8, 2020.