The Blaktism, 2014, is the first standalone video work by artist Megan Cope. It is highly theatrical in its examination of Aboriginal identity and issues of authenticity that are faced by fair-skinned Aboriginal people.
It does this by looking at Australian society’s intensive focus on skin colour as a way of deciding who is and isn’t a “real” Aboriginal person in urban areas.
With a type-cast crew, including a priest, hipsters and bikini-clad women, the artist submits herself to a baptism of authenticity; as if such a ceremony will legitimate her “blackness”. The video is a blast of good humour, which is sometimes the only way to tackle issues that are deeply offensive.
The Blaktism was commissioned for the Next Wave Festival in 2014 and was selected as the major prize winning work at the Western Australian Indigenous Art Award in 2015.