The Conditions of the Archive: FESTAC 77

The Conditions of the Archive: FESTAC 77
Monday, January 27, 2020

ICI 401 Broadway, Suite 1620
New York, NY 10013
FREE and open to the public

Curator and scholar, Oluremi Onabanjo will engage in conversation with renowned artist, Marilyn Nance about her photographic archive of FESTAC 77, the Second World Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture held in Lagos in 1977. Nance photographed the month-long festival, creating 1,500 images of the historic celebration of Pan-African art and culture.

This program presented in collaboration with Denniston Hill, where Oluremi Onabanjo was in residence in 2019. This program continues ICI’s engagement with organizations and individual partners in the New York region to think together about our shared investments. Denniston Hill is an artist-centered interdisciplinary residency and arts organization that fosters an inclusive, practical discourse about the aesthetics, function, ethics and meaning of contemporary artistic practice. Situated in the Southern Catskills on a 200-acre campus, Denniston Hill was established on the conviction that it is imperative for artists of all disciplines, backgrounds and career stages to have time and space for reflection and research. The organization was founded in 2004 by a group of primarily LGBTQ artists, architects, and writers of color. Their mission is guided by the principle that creative and critical voices are important in shaping a just, equitable society.

To attend, please RSVP to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) with ARCHIVE in the subject line.

This event is accessible to people with mobility disabilities. Please contact ICI for additional accessibility needs.

This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with City Council, and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Image Caption: This photograph of 23 year old artist Marilyn Nance was made in January 1977 in the sculpture garden of the art school of the Yaba Institute of Technology (*Now Yaba College of Technology) in Lagos, Nigeria. Nance is wearing a tee shirt that she designed and marketed proclaiming that « OKRA IS AN AFRICAN WORD »

January 27, 2020

ICI 401 Broadway, Suite 1620
New York, NY 10013


Marilyn Nance

Throughout the course of her career, visual artist Marilyn Nance has produced photographs of unique moments in the cultural history of the U.S. and the African Diaspora, and culminating in an archive of images of late 20th century African American life. A two-time finalist for the W. Eugene Smith Award in Humanistic Photography for her body of work on African American spiritual culture in America, Nance has photographed the Black Indians of New Orleans, an African village in South Carolina, churches in Brooklyn, and the first Black church in America. Her work can be found in the collections of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, and the Library of Congress, and has been published in The World History of Photography, History of Women in Photography, and The Black Photographers Annual. Nance is the recipient of the New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowships in Photography (2000 and 1989), Nonfiction Literature (1993), and the New York State Council of the Arts Individual Artists Grant (1987). A graduate of New York University’s Interactive Telecommunications Program (Tisch School of the Arts), Nance holds a B.F.A. in Communications Graphic Design from Pratt Institute, and an MFA in Photography from the Maryland Institute College of Art.

Oluremi C. Onabanjo

Oluremi C. Onabanjo is a curator and scholar of photography and the arts of Africa. The former Director of Exhibitions and Collections for The Walther Collection, she has organized exhibitions in Europe, North America, and Africa. She co-curated Recent Histories: Contemporary African Photography (2017), and edited its accompanying publication (Steidl, 2017), which was shortlisted for an ICP Infinity Award in Critical Writing and Research (2018) and named “One of the Best Photo Books of 2017” by The New York Times. Onabanjo lectures internationally on photography and curatorial practice, and has contributed to catalogues and photo books published by 10x10 Photobooks, the American Federation of Arts, Aperture, Autograph ABP, The Museum of Modern Art, The Studio Museum in Harlem, and The Walther Collection amongst others. Onabanjo is a PhD candidate in Art History at Columbia University and during Spring 2019, was a Visiting Critic in the Department of Fine Arts at the University of Pennsylvania. She holds an MSc in Visual, Material, and Museum Anthropology from Oxford University, and a BA in African Studies from Columbia University.

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