April 2020, English, 5 x 8 in, 100 pages, b&w, softcover
Design: Sming Sming Books
Co-published with Wolfman Books!
Ark of Martyrs is a rewriting of Joseph Conrad’s 1899 novel, Heart of Darkness. In the vocal traditions of gospel, toasting, and rap, Allan deSouza replaces Conrad’s words with ones that loosely rhyme to form an autobiography of V whose story consists of the mental chatter, unspoken and unspeakable desires, avarice, anxieties, and political resentments of guests at a wedding party on a cruise ship that’s adrift and under quarantine.
“A profoundly and provocatively subversive queering of contemporaneity and power. Like gender and its variance, this is a kind of imitation for which there is no original.” —Judith Butter
“I’ve made my decision. This is the sashay standard of Charisma, Uniqueness, Nerve, and Talent. Girl really worked it and really f*cked it up! But Shante, she stay.” —RuPole
“A vile, disgusting tome, sure to corrupt innocent minds. You will not be able to unread this. Buy it so you can burn it.” —Lindsey Graham-Cracker
“A grave insult to the canon of Great Literature that represents the best of our civilization. This is neither great nor literature. Anyone who values the deep faith, humanism, and courage that propels true culture should be justifiably outraged.” —The Conrad and Hemingway Undergraduate Club of KentuckY
“Who cares what I think, I’m a f**king actor! They hand me a script. I act. I’m here for entertainment.” —Bad Pitt
Allan deSouza is a California-based trans-media artist whose works restage colonial-era material legacies through counter-strategies of humor, fabulation, and (mis)translation. deSouza’s work has been shown extensively in the US and internationally, including at the Krannert Museum, IL; the Phillips Collection, Washington, DC; and the Pompidou Centre, Paris. deSouza’s book, How Art Can Be Thought (Duke, 2018), examines art pedagogy, and proposes decolonizing artistic, viewing, and pedagogical practices that can form new attachments within the contemporary world. The book provides an extensive analytical glossary of some of the most common terms used to discuss art, while considering how those terms may be adapted to new artistic and social challenges. deSouza is represented by Talwar Gallery, NY and New Delhi, and is Chair of the Department of Art Practice at University of California, Berkeley.