Emmanuel Olunkwa

  • Dozie Kanu, teepee home (Pro Impact), 2016, extendable magnets, sports tape, mini boxing gloves, 12 x 4 x 4 in".
    picks February 20, 2020

    Dozie Kanu

    Dozie Kanu’s debut solo museum exhibition, “Function,” features sculptures created from sourced and ready-made industrial materials—such as aluminum, hay, steel, spray paint, and wood—that contend with the ungraspable nature of blackness. Upon entering the Studio Museum’s 127th Street satellite space, viewers first encounter Chair [iii], 2018, a lavender seat and backrest in concrete that incorporates a car rim, which serves as the work’s base. The piece is an ode to Kanu’s hometown of Houston, and its native “slab” culture (the term is an acronym for a kind of customized automobile that is

  • Ava DuVernay, Sarah Lewis, Franklin Leonard, Bryan Stevenson. Photo: Julia Zhognia.
    diary May 09, 2019

    Poetic Justice

    “WHAT HAS MORALITY WON US?” This provocative question, posed by Bryan Stevenson, a lawyer, activist, and professor at New York University School of Law, lingered in the room on the second day of the “Vision and Justice” conference at Harvard’s Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. It was asked during the “Mass Incarceration and Visual Narratives” panel, one of numerous events in the two-day symposium “Vision and Justice,” organized by professor Sarah Lewis. The convening’s ambitious programming took on the archive, gentrification, the prison-industrial complex, police states, Flint, racialized

  • Devonté Hynes. Photo: Dana Pacifico.
    diary October 01, 2018

    Swan Song

    DEVONTÉ HYNES’S SONGS always remind me of a phrase my grandmother would say when people—and there were dozens of them—would share a moment of deep reflection or truth with her. She’d echo their words with “Take ’em to church, honey”—not because their truth posed any religious reference but because of the nature and universality of what was being expressed. Taking someone to church is a means of sharing one’s faith and teaching one’s gospel. Hynes’s songs serve as emotional guides to process heartache, insecurities, and selfhood, but experiencing his latest tour, under his long-term

  • View of “Off Scene,” 2018, Artspace, New Haven, Connecticut.
    interviews June 12, 2018

    Aliza Shvarts

    Aliza Shvarts’s writings and artworks explore the possibilities and impossibilities of performance, race, gender, and class. Her solo exhibition “Off Scene” presents works from the past ten years and is on view at Artspace in New Haven, Connecticut, through June 30, 2018.

    THIS SHOW IS ABOUT TESTIMONY—how the capacity to speak and be heard is gendered, classed, and racialized. Whose words carry weight? Whose speech precipitates action? Whose bodies bear assurances of trustworthiness, and whose incite doubt?

    The title of the show is a metaphor for different kinds of marginalization: for the kind of