Tracing Obsolescence: Evelyn Owen, Dana Whabira, and Neelika Jayawardane

Dana Whabira, Nobody's Thing, 2018. Documentation of work in progress.

Tracing Obsolescence: Evelyn Owen, Dana Whabira, and Neelika Jayawardane
Thursday, September 6, 2018
ICI Curatorial Hub

401 Broadway, Suite 1620
FREE and open to the public

Organized in collaboration with apexart, artist Dana Whabira, curator Evelyn Owen, and writer Neelika Jayawardane will speak about the exhibition Tracing Obsolescence., which explores the fleeting nature of so much of modern life: as consumer goods become outdated and are replaced, factories and mines close, their activities are outsourced, offshored, or become redundant. Despite efforts to “reduce, reuse, or recycle,” throwaway culture is entrenched.

Dana Whabira’s research-based spatial practice incorporates found materials from across Zimbabwe, which are embedded with personal, economic and historical significance. The cultural materials or social politicized sites are researched, archived, negated, reversed, and affirmed then transformed in attempt to question both colonial and personal constructs. Through her work she revisits the physical/cultural landscape to recontextualize meaning and narrative beyond binaries that have been pre-inscribed through controlling power structures.

In recent work, Whabira has used discarded dress forms, the last vestiges of Zimbabwe’s declining clothes industry, to explore alienated labor in the nexus of global migration, capitalism and crises. These abandoned objects point to the rise of automation and the fall of machinery, technology and people that have become redundant or terminated.

In this talk, Whabira will discuss her artistic practice and the work included in the exhibition Tracing Obsolescence with curator Evelyn Owen and writer Neelika Jayawardane.

Tracing Obsolescence will be on view at apexart September 8 - October 27, 2018 located at 291 Church St. New York, NY 10013.

This event is free and open to the public. To attend, please RSVP to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) with OBSOLESCENCE in the subject line.

Click here to listen to the talk.

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.

September 6, 2018

ICI Curatorial Hub
401 Broadway, Suite 1620
New York, NY 10013



Dana Whabira

Dana Whabira is a Zimbabwean artist who lives and works in Harare. An architect by training, Whabira studied art and design at Central Saint Martin’s College in London (2011). Her first solo exhibition Suspended in Animation was held at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe (2013) and she has participated in group shows in Johannesburg (2015), Pretoria (2015) and Harare (2012), in addition to taking up art residencies and giving talks locally and internationally. She represented Zimbabwe at the 57th Venice Biennale (2017) and participated at the Dak’Art Biennale (2018). Whabira is the founder of Njelele Art Station, an urban laboratory in downtown Harare that focuses on contemporary, experimental and public art practice.

Evelyn Owen

Evelyn Owen is a writer and curator based in New York City. A cultural geographer by training, her research explores contested geographical imaginations, especially in relation to contemporary art from Africa and its Diaspora. She is currently the Curatorial Fellow at The Africa Center, NYC. For The Africa Center, she curated the sound installation Lagos State of Mind II (2014) with artist Emeka Ogboh. With Yaëlle Biro, she co-curated the exhibition The Aftermath of Conflict: Jo Ractliffe’s Photographs of Angola and South Africa at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (2015). Her writing has been published by The Guardian, FOAM, Contemporary&, Okayafrica, 1-54, and Africa is a Country. She received her PhD with a thesis on the geographies of contemporary African art from Queen Mary, University of London.

M. Neelika Jayawardane

M. Neelika Jayawardane is Associate Professor of English at the State University of New York-Oswego, and a Research Associate at the Visual Identities in Art and Design (VIAD), University of Johannesburg (South Africa). She is a recipient of the 2018 Creative Capital | Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant for a book project on the Afrapix, a South African photographers’ agency that operated during the last decade of apartheid. Jayawardane was born in Sri Lanka, raised in Zambia, and completed her university education in the US, where she currently works. Her scholarly publications focus on the nexus between South African literature, photography, and the transnational/transhistorical implications of colonialism and apartheid on the body. As a founding member of the digital project, Africa is a Country, she became increasingly interested in writing in a manner that is accessible and welcoming to a larger public. She recently contributed an essay for Aperture’s publication of South African “visual activist” Zanele Muholi’s self-portraits, and catalogue article for African Mobilities: This Is Not a Refugee Camp Exhibition at The Architekturmuseum der TU München, in Munich, Germany. She also wrote the introductory essay for the South Africa pavilion’s 57th Venice Biennale catalogue, an essay for The Walther Collection’s publication (2017), as well as numerous essays for artists’ catalogues. Along with academic publications, her writing is featured in Al Jazeera English, Transition, Aperture, Contemporary&, Contemporary Practices: Visual Art from the Middle East, and Even Magazine.

event updates

NEW YORK, NY 10013
T: +1 212 254 8200 F: +1 212 477 4781
E: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)