August 28, 2020 - Wexner Center for the Arts - Artist Residency Award recipients for 2020–21
August 28, 2020

Wexner Center for the Arts

[1] Jaamil Olawale Kosoko. Photo courtesy of EMPAC, Sara Griffith. [2] Hope Ginsburg. Courtesy the artist. [3] Torkwase Dyson. Photo: Gabe Souza. © Torkwase Dyson.

Artist Residency Award recipients for 2020–21

Wexner Center for the Arts
1871 N. High Street
The Ohio State University
Columbus, Ohio 43210
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The Wexner Center for the Arts, the multidisciplinary contemporary art laboratory at The Ohio State University, is delighted to announce its Artist Residency Awards for 2020–21.

The Wex invests more than USD 200,000 each year in the creation of new work in three of its key areas of focus: film/video, performing arts, and visual arts. Chosen by the center’s curators and director, each recipient exemplifies the spirit of innovation and exploration central to the mission of the Wexner Center and Ohio State. This year’s artists had commenced working with the center prior to COVID-19; therefore some of their residencies were interrupted and subsequently adapted, adjusted, or recast in the face of the entwined crises of the pandemic and systemic racism. The ability to provide flexible, responsive institutional support represents the Wex’s commitment to artists during radical shifts in culture and society.

Along with financial support, the residency awards provide a level of freedom to determine how the award will be used, as well as access to the technical, professional, and creative capital of the Wex and Ohio State. By accepting the award, artists agree to contribute to the Wex’s function as a teaching and learning entity by opening their processes and experiences to students and the larger community. A list of past recipients is available here.

The recipients:

Performing Arts: Jaamil Olawale Kosoko
A Detroit native based in New York, Kosoko is a first-generation Nigerian-American poet, curator, and performance artist familiar to Wex audiences through the 2018 presentation of his multimedia work Seancers

Kosoko’s Artist Residency Award project will build upon Chameleon, a work that combines multiple disciplines to, in the artist’s words, “make use of, or reconfigure the conventions of, the performative experience; reconsider queer archival practice; and propose alternative ways of experiencing Black identity.”

Kosoko will participate in outreach activities on and off the Ohio State campus during the fall of 2020 before debuting the next iteration of Chameleon in March 2021. The project will offer both in-person and online access points for audiences. Acknowledging uncertainty surrounding Covid-19, this date is subject to change.

Film/Video: Hope Ginsburg
An interdisciplinary, project-based artist living and working in Richmond, Virginia, Ginsburg seeks to build community around learning through a practice rooted in collaboration, creative cooperation, and firsthand experience. Her work has been presented numerous times at the Wex, including in The Box and as part of the 2004 exhibition Work Ethic

Building on her collaboratively produced 2019 installation Swirling, which captures the unseen collective labor of underwater coral farming, Ginsburg’s project Meditation Ocean extends her interest in climate change and marine ecology to include human health and well-being. The long-term project involves a residency in the Wex’s Film/Video Studio and work with youth and adults in the community, ultimately yielding an immersive multimedia installation intended to foster mindfulness, learning, and exchange. 

Ginsburg’s residency extends into 2022, ensuring she receives the full scope of support needed for this ambitious, multifaceted project.

Visual Arts: Torkwase Dyson
Dyson creates work that raises exigent issues regarding climate, ecosystems, architecture, infrastructure, and systems—bringing them into conversation with historical and contemporary meditations on the interiority, agency, and genius of Black and Brown people’s spatial practices. Dyson’s art spans painting, drawing, sculpture, animation, and collaboration with her performance collective, Dark Adaptive. 

The physical manifestation of Dyson’s residency project, Bird and Lava, will be featured at the Wex in early 2021 as part of the group exhibition Climate Changing: On Artists, Institutions, and the Social Environment, curated by Lucy Zimmerman. This new body of work, perhaps Dyson’s most personal to date, focuses on the industrial in relationship to what is “at hand”—knowledge, tools, skills. Bird and Lava will be accompanied by a website that is a fluid index of resources, reflections, speculation, and critical fabulation. The website was generated while Dyson has been working in isolation during the pandemic and the nation’s renewed reckoning with white supremacy and state-sanctioned violence. 

Wexner Center for the Arts
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