Studio Residency

Okwui Okpokwasili

Jul 30–Aug 28, 2022

MoMA

Okwui Okpokwasili. Performance view of Bronx Gothic. On the Boards, Seattle, Washington, 2016. Video by Peter Born. Courtesy of the artist
  • MoMA, Floor 4, Studio The Marie-Josée and Henry Kravis Studio

The Brooklyn-based choreographer, performer, and writer Okwui Okpokwasili is the Marie-Josée and Henry Kravis Studio’s first artist-in-residence. For the duration of the Studio Residency, the Kravis Studio will become Okpokwasili’s working space, a site for incubation, experimentation, and collaboration, and a resource for developing and creating new work behind closed doors. Through three public events, the audience will have the opportunity to experience the evolution of Okpokwasili’s new piece.

Okpokwasili explores the roles of African and African American women by creating multidisciplinary performance pieces that seek to shape the shared space inhabited by the audience and performer. “I want to build full and rich characters with integrity, brown bodies laboring within a very specific and charged context,” says the artist. Her productions, created in collaboration with acclaimed designer Peter Born, are experimental in form, bringing together elements of dance, theater, and the visual arts.

In this residency Okpokwasili will be developing a story, written by the artist herself, that unfolds across space and time, beginning with a fictitious event in a precolonial Nigeria of her imagination and focusing on one family’s violent entanglement in the transatlantic slave trade. Together with a group of collaborators, Okpokwasili will use the residency as a space for developing the piece through movement, sound, spoken texts, and “folk” songs.

A testament to MoMA’s ongoing commitment to supporting artists’ processes and ideas, the Studio Residency program will become a place where art comes to life in new and inspiring ways.

Open rehearsals will be held on August 23 and 25, and an “excerpt” and talk will be held on August 26. Times and details will be announced here soon.

Organized by Ana Janevski, Curator, with Gee Wesley, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Media and Performance. Performances produced by Kate, Scherer, Manager, with Jessie Gold, Assistant Performance Coordinator, Performance and Live Programs.

  • This exhibition is part of The Hyundai Card Performance Series.

    The exhibition is presented as part of The Hyundai Card Performance Series.

    Major support is provided by MoMA's Wallis Annenberg Director's Fund for Innovation in Contemporary Art.

    Generous funding is provided by the Lonti Ebers Endowment for Performance, The Modern Women’s Fund, and the Sarah Arison Endowment Fund for Performance.

    Licensing

    If you would like to reproduce an image of a work of art in MoMA’s collection, or an image of a MoMA publication or archival material (including installation views, checklists, and press releases), please contact Art Resource (publication in North America) or Scala Archives (publication in all other geographic locations).

    MoMA licenses archival audio and select out of copyright film clips from our film collection. At this time, MoMA produced video cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. All requests to license archival audio or out of copyright film clips should be addressed to Scala Archives at [email protected]. Motion picture film stills cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. For access to motion picture film stills for research purposes, please contact the Film Study Center at [email protected]. For more information about film loans and our Circulating Film and Video Library, please visit https://www.moma.org/research-and-learning/circulating-film.

    If you would like to reproduce text from a MoMA publication, please email [email protected]. If you would like to publish text from MoMA’s archival materials, please fill out this permission form and send to [email protected].

    Feedback

    This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information or spotted an error, please send feedback to [email protected].