Artist Statement: Ifeoma Nkemdi

Black Narcise: Love and Failing is a reflection of moments encountered. Taking bits and pieces, deconstructing and constructing… Playing with my memory. How do these moments participate with the image I have of myself? How does what others do and say affect my own sense of self and otherness.


It also is a quest to understand my relationship with black men… African men… my father… myself… and how love failed… Or did I just experience important events to assist me in achieving my goals? I have learned so much from the two fathers of my sons. I love them for giving me my sons. I appreciate their talents and I am still fans of their work.

Am I weird for this acknowledgement? I am not upset. I am grateful, though most would hate the father of my oldest. An artist, self-possessed… absent… wandering… aloof. I have learned the lesson. Do we call it failing? Also, when you have learned and become more than you were?

I am more ambitious and assertive. I find my voice both in speaking, writing and directing. I feel that my struggle has helped to create the fire for my ambition. I no longer care what people think, say, feel, decide, choose or have to say about me and my choices.


It is a harsh reality… I live in my skin and I am very comfortable in it. There is a poetry and architecture there that should be admired. Then I think about my family and my mother. My favorite uncle Ebo, the only Nigerian relative, I deeply loved and had a connection with him. His death was the first time I realized horrible things can happen to great people. My Uncle Ebo was poisoned. I didn’t realize how much I missed him until this film.

I am still working on this film. It still is a work in progress.

It certainly started out as something I wanted to craft in a very specific way, I shot and then thought I would edit it in a certain matter. This was furthest from the reality. I became engrossed with playing with the sequence, the video, what images to superimpose on others.

The most difficult part was conversion of the audio. I used a voice recorder on my LG. Why did I do this? I was so excited to be able to edit this into the film. Catastrophe. Hopefully, I will get a chance to utilize the recordings I have, to find the correct App to use, or to just re-record it.

Time was also very difficult. I was obsessed to the point that I only wanted to work on filming scenes and footage of tracks, roads, etc. I did not have extra time for the editing process. That would be the most valuable part and the exporting the material was more time consuming than I realized.


I look forward to continuing on this project.

The artist Ifeoma Nkemdi created this film as part of the BCH Self + Otherness Film Workshop led by Marco Ferrari this past winter.