Artist Oluseye’s sculptural Eminado or talismans reside within an inner chamber of With Opened Mouths. In this episode, he talks with Qanita Lilla about his enduring ties to Africa, to black rubber, and to things that give both pleasure and pain. Oluseye’s “diasporic debris” are not only the generative materials used to conjure Black journeys but are also symbolic of his broader artistic practice.
I think for me, the journey itself is the art practice.
Oluseye, Eminado #146, 2019 and 2020, found rubber and object assemblage. Photo: Courtesy of Patel Brown Gallery and the Artist
Oluseye, Eminado #200, 2019 and 2020, found rubber and object assemblage. Photo: Courtesy of Patel Brown Gallery and the Artist
Oluseye’s work embraces the magnitude and polyvocality of Blackness and the ways in which it moves across space, place, and time, shaping and shifting the world. Centering Yoruba cultural references, he bends the ancestral with the contemporary and rejects the binary distinction between the traditional and the modern; the physical and the spiritual; the past and the future; what is new and what is old. He imbues everyday objects with the mythic in an attempt to reinforce African rituals and philosophies as living, complex, and valid traditions of the human consciousness. He has exhibited at The Art Gallery of Ontario, Patel Brown and is debuting a new body of work at MOCA, Toronto which is on until January 2022.
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