Jenkins Johnson Projects, New York presents Echo, an exhibition curated by Serubiri Moses, featuring works by Jabu Arnell, Halima Haruna, Nadia Huggins, Taiye Idahor, Nyakallo Maleke, Wycliffe Mundopa, Kamwangi Njue, Ladan Osman, and Mona Taha.
The curatorial and thematic of the exhibition Echo is based on the story of Narcissus and Echo in Ovid’s Metamorphoses. The exhibition takes this story as a starting point in order to respond to the idea of sound and listening in particular as a way of learning that is overshadowed by the discourse on ego and mastery. The exhibition foregrounds acts such as loitering, hearing, listening, and feeling. In this way, the exhibition views art as a journey, and a process of learning and un/learning, within which ideas of subjectivity are constantly remodeled rather than static. The emphasis here is on the delay, rather than the accuracy or veracity of the message.
In Gayatri C. Spivak’s essay, “Echo” published in New Literary History in 1993, Spivak wrote about the sheer absence of Echo, as a character in the story of Narcissus. Spivak wrote that historians including Sigmund Freud were obsessed with specific ideas of the “ego,” and thus were more drawn to Narcissus. She concludes that, to these historians, Narcissus is “the tale of the construction of the self as an object of knowledge.” She goes on to highlight that, by contrast, Echo is played off as a “talkative girl” who is given a punishment which is: “you can no longer speak for yourself.” This exhibition examines both this idea of speech and also the production of knowledge as that which can also be found in the listening ear where there is precisely “an echo of something” – or where there is a “delay” – rather than where we find the “ego” at the center of knowledge.
Jabu Arnell, is an artist born in St. Maarten. Arnell studied International Relations in the USA and in the Netherlands. In 2016 Jabu Arnell was an artist in residence at the Thami Mnyele Foundation in Amsterdam. He was one of the participating artists in the Diasporic Self: Black Togetherness as Lingua Franca (2018/2019), a collaborative project/’exhibition ’initiated by researcher and curator Amal Alhaag and artist and curator Barby Asante.
Halima Haruna is a Nigerian artist and educator living in the U.S. Her creative practice revolves around cultural theory based on Nigerian socio- politics, mediated through performance and video. Her research interests are at the intersection of the decolonization of knowledge and epistemology through spiritual practice. She recently completed a fellowship with Digital Earth 2019, a program formed around the construction of images of the Earth’s techno- sphere. She received a MA in Research Architecture from Goldsmiths, University of London in 2018.
Nadia Huggins was born in Trinidad and Tobago and grew up in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, where she is currently based. Her work merges documentary and conceptual practices, which explore belonging, identity, and memory through a contemporary approach focused on re-presenting Caribbean landscapes and the sea. Nadia’s photographs have been exhibited in group shows in Canada, USA, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Barbados, Ethiopia, Guadeloupe, France, and the Dominican Republic. In 2019, her solo show Human stories: Circa no future took place at Now Gallery, London UK. Her work forms part of the collection of The Wedge Collection (Toronto, Canada), The National Gallery of Jamaica (Kingston), and The Art Museum of the Americas (Washington DC, USA).
Taiye Idahor was born in 1984 in Lagos, Nigeria, where she currently lives and works. In 2007, she graduated from Yaba College of Technology in Lagos with a Higher National Diploma in Fine Arts, specialising in sculpture. Using collage, drawing, sculpture, and mixed media, Idahor explores layers of themes at once expansive and deeply intimate, expressing identity both female and African within the broader contexts of history, tradition, memory and globalization. Idahor’s work is part of the collection of the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (Zeitz MOCAA) in Cape Town, South Africa, as well as that of the Davis Museum (Wellesley, MA, USA), the Brooklyn Museum (Brooklyn, NY, USA), and the Princeton University Art Museum (Princeton, NJ, USA).
Nyakallo Maleke is an artist and writer based in Johannesburg. Her practice is grounded on an expanded concept of drawing, which she sees as a form of research to tell stories about space, movement and walking. Maleke’s drawings take shape across media, techniques and disciplines, and can manifest as installations, performances, sound pieces, prints or sculptures. Maleke completed a Master of Art in Public Sphere (with distinction) at the École de design et haute école d’art du Valais (édhéa), Switzerland (2019), where her research focused on drawing practices in public space. She is an alumnus of the Asiko International Art School, Addis Ababa edition (2016) and graduated with BA Fine Art from Wits University in 2015. She has participated in group exhibitions at venues including NGO – Nothing Gets Organised, Johannesburg; Stevenson, Cape Town; Modzi Art Gallery, Lusaka, and the 13th Dak’art Biennale, Dakar, Senegal, in which she participated in the exhibition Canine Wisdom for the Barking Dog-The Dog Done Gone Deaf, curated by Kamila Metwaly and Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung.
Wycliffe Mundopa’s vibrant paintings canonize the often overlooked lives of women and children in the artist’s home of Harare, Zimbabwe. On bright, theatrical canvases that recall the works of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and Fauvists such as Henri Matisse, Mundopa combines oil paint and fabric collage. His central figures are mothers, caregivers, children, and sex workers who live and work in neighborhoods across the city. Mundopa studied at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe Visual Arts Studios and has exhibited in London, New York, Johannesburg, Cape Town, Paris, Berlin, and beyond. His work belongs to multiple collections including the Ilana Goor Museum, the Right at the Equator project, the Museum of Modern Art of Equatorial Guinea, and the Lluís Coromina Foundation.
Kamwangi Njue is a multidisciplinary artist, writer, and experimental beatmaker working with artists and others from Nairobi, Kenya. He has developed, participated and delivered a range of collaborative projects and events including performances, shows, exhibitions, texts and readings. For Norient, he curated the virtual exhibition «Norient City Sounds: Nairobi» in 2022.
Ladan Osman was born in Somalia. She earned a BA at Otterbein College and an MFA at the University of Texas at Austin’s Michener Center for Writers. Her chapbook, Ordinary Heaven, appears in Seven New Generation African Poets (Slapering Hol Press, 2014). Her full-length collection The Kitchen-Dweller’s Testimony (University of Nebraska Press, 2015) won the Sillerman First Book Prize. Her work has appeared in Apogee, The Normal School, Prairie Schooner, Transition Magazine, and Waxwing.
Mona Taha, born 1988, of Rwandan and Ugandan parentage, is a self-taught artist and mother, who works in the medium of charcoal on paper, graduated from Makerere University with a degree in Development Economics and has worked in logistics and family business until she decided – and put her foot down against family and societal expectations – to become a full-time artist. She has participated in “Surfaces 2019”, an artist discovery platform by Afriart Gallery who continues to mentor her. She has shown her work in Surfaces and Where the wild things are, two group exhibition at Afriart Gallery and at 1:54 Art Fair New York and London 2021 and Art X Lagos 2021.
About Exhibition Curator Serubiri Moses
Serubiri Moses is an independent writer and curator, who is currently an adjunct assistant professor in the Art and Art History Department at Hunter College; and visiting faculty in the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College. He is co-curator of MoMA PS1’s fifth perennial survey of contemporary art, Greater New York, and previously was on the curatorial team of the 10th Berlin Biennale of Contemporary Art. His current research focus is on theories of African art. Recent publications and conference talks include: “Neither Hopeful nor Pathological: A Theory of South African Art”. e-flux journal. 122. November 2021; “Death as a Premonitory Sign”. Singapore Art Biennial Symposium. February 2020. Moses lives and works in New York City.
Saturday, July 30, 2022, 5–8 pm
Saturday, July 30, 2022, 6–7 pm