Visual artist Kosisochukwu (Kosi) Nnebe talks with Qanita Lilla about the rich sources of her artistic practice. Inspired by social theory as well as her lived experience, Kosi creates art that resists the easy consumption of blackness and allows instead for quiet, sometimes disturbing realizations to emerge. Referencing her video installation in the Brown Butter exhibition at Agnes (2022) Kosi shows how the agential repositioning of Black bodies as performers and storytellers serves a liberatory function.
I see hesitation as something that’s generative, not as a bad thing, but as something that opens you up to new possibilities. It speaks to this slowness, this openness to different realities and so it creates an opening to new ways of understanding and being.
Kosisochukwu Nnebe is a Nigerian-Canadian visual artist. Using phenomenology as a methodology, Nnebe’s practice makes use of hesitation as a generative form of affect that opens the viewer and the artist herself up to new forms of understanding. Touching on themes such as the process of racialization, diasporic experience, and epistemic violence and restitution, her work takes her lived experience as a starting point for engaging viewers on issues both personal and structural in ways that bring awareness to their own imbrication and complicity. Nnebe’s work has been exhibited at AXENEO7, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Place des Arts, the Art Gallery of Guelph, the Nia Centre, Studio Sixty Six, Z-Art Space, Station 16, and the Mohr Gallery in Mountain View, California.
With Opened Mouths: The Podcast is hosted by Dr Qanita Lilla and produced by Agnes Etherington Art Centre in partnership with Queen’s University’s campus radio station, CFRC 101.9 FM.