The 2020 digital residency award

The Yinka Shonibare Foundation is pleased to announce the selected group to receive a residency at Guest Projects Digital. 

A Graveyard of Ideas I 07.09.20 - 03.10.20

The project seeks to erect a digital monument dedicated to the harnessing of failures by asking: what kind of possibilities would we unlock if we considered failure not as a wall that ends a life but as a window into values that we’d prefer to live by?
The proposed virtual space will incorporate technology ranging from radio waves to Zoom calls to serve as a funeral site for dead ideas and a cradle for fledgling ones/those unborn due to the fear of failure.

This virtual space, called the Graveyard of Ideas or GOI (pronounced JOY), is about the primal necessity of mourning. It is an acknowledgement of our cultural need to create a new vocabulary, and therefore tools, to address our perceived shortcomings. The group intend to curate and install a lexicon of words and phrases that come up when people discuss their failures, designing eulogies and tombstones for unrealized projects/plans. The aim is to create a space that challenges people’s perceptions of failure as isolating and absurd, to reveal the failure to be evidence of courageous living inherent in the creative act.

Graveyard of Ideas is composed of curator and producer Yewande YoYo Odunubi, performance artist and writer Sheila Chukwulozie, and visual artist and creative technologist Uzoma Chidumaga Orji. As a collective, they have a keen interest in redefining/reconceptualizing the digital, as well as using it as a site to excavate ancestral histories.

Uzoma Chidumaga Orji is a creative technologist and visual artist based between Lagos and Abuja, Nigeria.
As an artist, he observes and then creates representations of society and of history; visual metaphors that explain his millennial Igbo Nigerian cultural context and the cultural environment he hopes to one day live in. As a technologist, he seeks to design engaging human-centred experiences that use the digital to further his exploration of questions of identity.

Yewande YoYo Odunubi is a London-based curator and cultural producer invested in curating environments that nurture and give space to creative and artistic exchange. Centring her practice around the mantra “I’m not here for a version of me, I’m here for every part of me”, she is interested in intersectional and inclusive curatorial frameworks and programming that seeks to rupture the dominant narratives and occupation of traditional and contemporary art discourse. Working with a range of cultural organisations including the V&A, Southbank Centre, Institute of Contemporary Arts, and Tate, Yewande has spent over five years delivering projects that give emerging artists and cultural practitioners opportunities and agency to encourage their own cultural participation and professional development. Yewande also works as the Live Programme Producer at the Wellcome Collection and frequently collaborates with London based art and music collectives; BBZ and Touching Bass.
In addition to her delivery work, Yewande is currently exploring alternative pedagogical approaches to traditional curatorial practice and cultural institutional structures as a means to rethink and challenge what it means for cultural institutions to function as a public service.

Sheila Chukwulozie defines herself as an Igbo Cyborg contending with the state of being simultaneous: fixed|fluid, object|subject, matter|spirit, digital| analogue, able|unable, and native|migrant. She imagines a future where performance, physiotherapy and technology meet at a powerful junction to upgrade the current definition of healing. By juxtaposing local rituals, modern technology, & traditional myths, her artist practice explores the body politic of “behaving oneself” in a Catholic-colonial body. She is drawn to exposing the internal/consistent dialogue— coded through discipline and punishment, and through language like “conscience”, “moral compass” or even, “The Holy Spirit”. Sheila is currently based in Lagos, Nigeria.

The artists were selected following a call for collaborations between artists and curators, in particular, those of African descent living and working in London, UK and Lagos, Nigeria. Proposals that include communal and co-operative opportunities to connect with people and communities across these cities via digital platforms were particularly encouraged.  The selection panel included Artist Yinka Shonibare CBE (RA), Artist Doug Fishbone, ArtX Lagos Curator Tayo Ogunbiyi, Guest Projects Curator Cecilia Pedersen and Yinka Shonibare Foundation Executive Belinda Holden. 
 

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