Locating Yinka Shonibare MBE: Graduate Student Symposium

Saturday, December 12 11 a.m.—4 p.m.

Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, Lecture Hall

950 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington DC

Take Metro to Smithsonian Station

Artist Odili Donald Odita will give a keynote address on his recent work and the spatial diffusion of African art. As with his own production, much of contemporary African art arises outside of the continent and travels through increasingly dynamic geographic and intellectual channels. Graduate students in art history, visual anthropology and museum studies will share their research on the art of Yinka Shonibare MBE. Topics to be discussed include: the political character of Shonibare’s paintings within the context of his oeuvre and the contemporary art world; connections between the work of Shonibare and leading contemporary artists from Puerto Rico; the theme of temporality in Shonibare’s photography; the historical use of the term African as a framing category for such contemporary artists as Alexander “Skunder” Boghossian and Yinka Shonibare MBE in the United States; and the role that national identity, gender, sexuality and class mobility plays in the artist’s re-imagining of a cultural iconic figure of the dandy. Conversation to follow; moderated by Odita.

Odili Donald Odita

Born in Enugu, Nigeria, raised in Columbus, Ohio, and received an MFA from Vermont’s Bennington College in 1990. The artist’s work has been exhibited in Africa, North America and Europe, and included in DAK’ART 2004, the Dakar Biennial of Contemporary Art and the 52nd International Art Exhibition at the 2007 Venice Biennale. Odita is currently associate professor of painting at Tyler School of Art, Temple University.

Graduate student speakers:

W. Ian Bourland, University of Chicago, Reconsidering Shonibare's Paintings

Anabelle Rodríguez, Temple University, Empire's Enchantment: The Aesthetics of Colonialism in the work of Yinka Shonibare, Roxana Pérez-Méndez, Miguel Luciano, and Pepón Osorio

Rael Jero Salley, University of Chicago, Out of Time: Moments in Yinka Shonibare’s “Diary of a Victorian Dandy”

Tobias Wofford, University of California, Los Angeles, Coming to America

Rose Oluronke Ojo, The School of Oriental and African Art (SOAS), University Of London, Locating the Black Dandy in Yinka Shonibare's "Diary of a Victorian Dandy"

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