Leading with imagination involves being affectively alert to others, to ourselves, and to the complexities of the issues we face. Imaginative beings, artists in this case, are dedicated to creating “what if” or “illusions of” a world around us in which viewers are supported and empowered to envision and enact possibilities.
For Hampton Olfus, there is no liberation without multiplicity in his artistic expressions. In his effort to assault the bastions of the establishment, Olfus succeeds in reinforcing his idea that there is something special and something important about the complexities of imagination. He situates in his subjects the various per-formative positions in our contemporary postcolonial moment the inherent difficulties involved in tracing the multilayered and often nonconformist or recusant character of diasporic ties and hailings viewers recognize. Still, he successfully depicts “old imprints” with “new inscriptions” by acknowledging useful portrayals while mapping and monitoring the who, what, where, when, why, which, and how of diasporic affiliations.
The perplexity of Olfus’ works represents an organized worldview and memory of mankind, which, when presented, becomes enormously malleable because the complexities of one’s imagination cannot avoid making a selection of facts.