Image courtesy of Tchiniania Productions.
Billboard project by Marvin Luvualu António
September through October, 2018
My mother was a powerful woman. She was both revered and loathed. In May 2008, she was found dead in her Luanda home, an apple resting in her hand. Her name was Julienne Luvualu. The kind of name that rolled up and over your tongue like a hill.
Grief is a deep deep house. In my house of death, the rooms reach low enough to graze the Earth’s hot, molten core. Death is a hot hot tunnel.
Last summer, I was told she was murdered.
I was told that someone at her workplace killed her.
I was told that my stepfather did it.
I was told not to trust my family.
I was told not to drink their water.
To watch what I eat.
That witches roamed within my family.
This summer, I was told many more things.
I remember waking up one morning not able to feel my legs.
I was told I had PTSD.
I always knew that someone took her from me.
In these photographs, somebody knows and also does not want to know or just cannot bear knowing. Death is too too much.
Marvin Luvualu António (b. 1986) lives and works in Toronto. He has recently shown his works in solo exhibitions at Lyles & King, New York (2017); the Clint Roenisch Gallery, Toronto (2016); and the Stevenson Gallery, Cape Town (2015). In 2017, he was distinguished with the Toronto Friends of the Visual Arts Prize and received the AIMIA | AGO Photography Prize scholarship in 2015.