For her CAI Residency, Eniola Dawodu created a new textile work, IRAN SI IRAN (2019), that reassembles a fragmented chorus of ancestral African women’s strategic radical overtures toward autonomy and cultural sovereignty. This piece was featured in the second exhibition of Punctures at Squeaky Wheel Film & Media Arts Center. The exhibition opened on Nov. 22 with an Artist Talk between artist Eniola Dawodu in conversation with Amy Sall (Founder and Editor-in-Chief, SUNU: Journal of African Affairs, Critical Thought + Aesthetics).
The exhibition, Punctures, features two works placed in conversation: Kite’s multi-media installation and performance Everything I Say Is True (2017), which considers concepts of truth in relation to Oglala Lakota knowledge systems. Eniola Dawodu’s IRAN SI IRAN (2019), a newly commissioned textile work which reassembles a fragmented chorus of ancestral African women’s strategic radical overtures toward autonomy and cultural sovereignty.
Eniola Dawodu is a British-born Nigerian based between Dakar, Senegal and Brooklyn, NY. She is engaged in the cultural archiving of memories, methods, and magic concerning West African textiles and aesthetics of style + self-presentation. Her research and creative practice privilege traditional dress practice, its motif and methodology, as potent conduits for cross-generational communication, situated in the liminal and powerfully charged with legacy and history. With reverence to foremothers, Dawodu reimagines garments of power as masques within which space is held for the latent narratives of ancestral African experiences. In alliance with master artisans via ancient techniques, past and present-day collapse into cross-dimensional expression. Woven memoirs unite; a foundation upon which truths are embroidered.
Kite aka Suzanne Kite is an Oglala Lakota performance artist, visual artist, and composer raised in Southern California, with a BFA from CalArts in music composition, an MFA from Bard College’s Milton Avery Graduate School, and is a PhD student at Concordia University and Research Assistant for the Initiative for Indigenous Futures. Her research is concerned with contemporary Lakota epistemologies through research-creation, computational media, and performance practice. Recently, Kite has been developing a body interface for movement performances, carbon fiber sculptures, immersive video & sound installations, as well as co-running the experimental electronic imprint, Unheard Records.
This exhibition is part of Punctures: Textiles in Digital and Material Time. Consisting of three exhibitions and public programs that weave into each other, Punctures features artists who are invested in the intersections and history of textile practices, media art, and critical and liberatory politics, including trans fashion and domesticity; gendered and immigrant labor under global racial capitalism; Gelede women’s commemoration, protest and power as represented in textile work; speculative future-casting through Oglala Lakota knowledge systems, and more. The exhibition features installations by Betty Yu, Cecilia Vicuña, Charlie Best, Eniola Dawodu, Kite, and Sabrina Gschwandtner, performances by Charlie Best, Jodi Lynn Maracle, and Kite, and screenings of work by Jodie Mack, Pat Ferrero, Sabrina Gschwandtner, and Wang Bing. Punctures design by Kelly Walters.