Anneasha Hogan
‘But I’m having so much fun!!!’(2016)
7 mintues, 38 seconds

“I created ‘But I’m having so much fun!!!’ three years ago while in a performance art class... At the time, I was obsessed with trying to figure out how to exist as a Black Woman artist. I was conflicted about inserting myself into my work, which meant joining the complicated lineage of the ‘image of the Black Woman in media’ with all of its history, horrors, tropes, and successes. Every critique seemed to be resting on my identity. It felt like there was a crushing hopefulness in every interaction with classmates, TAs, and professors, for me to have all of the answers; “Are you calling me racist?” “How do you feel about this?” “How can I do better?” My responses to the many variations of these questions ranged from straightforward to absurd based on my mood, because I found it hilarious that they thought any response from me could lift a weight off of their shoulders that I couldn’t even lift off of my own.

“Now, in quarantine, I’m glad to return to this work and see the ways in which the meaning is retained, and even deepened. In quarantine, we return to the activities which have been passed down to us from our families. My mother and grandmothers taught me to sew, knit, crochet, cook, clean. How to take care of myself. How to manage that ever-present weight. In isolation we may have time to reflect on ourselves, hopefully a chance to change what isn’t working, reconstruct ourselves and come out stronger. We are scared for our physicality, but temporarily distanced from some of the social expectations that burden us.

“Unless you denounce all technology, move to the middle of the woods, never interact with another human being ever again (and even then); we are never free from the distorted mirror of media. Media often turns people into symbols. Single characters are created to represent entire swathes of varied people, and even when they aren’t meant to, they are added to the catalogue. We need entertainment and distraction or we would burn out, but the entertainment and distraction burns us too. ‘But I’m Having So Much Fun!!!’ is about the comedic irony of identifying with something and being trapped by it at the same time.”—Anneasha Hogan