Inspired by the subtle, underlying racial controversy in the portraits of Robert Mapplethorpe, Prepare to Speak displays the effect of changing oneself to fit a suited audience. The tube of toothpaste represents code-switching, or "polishing" one's language in order to assimilate. When taken to the extreme, the result is painful, degrading, and unnecessary. The resulting images of the performance reflect Mapplethorpe's use of tonality and emotion to create a beautiful portrait that is juxtaposed with the humiliating acts depicted. 31 minutes in length, the video plays forwards and backwards to invite a conversation on the revoking and reclamation of colloquial language.
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