Year created:


keeping up appearances

Sentence fragments in black lower-case text, which describe a seemingly positive relationship with a mentor, are scattered sparsely against a white background. Moving the mouse over the gaps between words reveals pink text in which hidden aspects of the story are conveyed—the mentor was sexually predatory, the narrator felt trapped.

"I am particularly interested in the way [women's] narratives are often heavily structured by silences or denials," says Mendi Lewis Obadike of the work, which she described as a "hypertextimonial." In contrast with many hypertext works, the user is not invited to change the outcome of the narrator's story.

Obadike has situated the work in relation to an ongoing interest in enacting a black female aesthetic. Keeping Up Appearances is part of Black.Net.Art Actions, a larger series of works by Mendi + Keith Obadike.