A conversation between the Sammlung Goetz and the artist about daily motivation and inspiration
It is hard to isolate one or even a few sources of motivations since I can say that I live and breathe my work, so my motivation is creating, in response and in dialogue with history and current events. I am lucky enough to be part of a wonderful network of friends and collaborators who are also an endless source of intellectual and emotional nurturing.
In general, my artistic practice is a poetic commentary on history, theory, politics. I think we can all agree that the current global scenario has plenty of issues to reflect, problematize and elaborate upon. But I also draw inspiration from conversations I maintain with curators, scholars, artists, students. Sometimes an exhibition proposal or the commissioning of a new work can be incredibly inspiring, as they may change the way I look at my own body of work or invite completely new ideas and themes into my practice.
I have been mostly dedicated to the Isaac Julien Lab at University of California, Santa Cruz where myself and my partner Mark Nash are based for part of the year, conducting a graduate programme specialising in moving-image art and curating. Also, I have been in many webinars and conversations for the presentation of Lessons of the Hour – Frederick Douglass in the United Kingdom this year, a prospect which excites me a great deal! Another solo show will take place this year, with Lina Bo Bardi – A Marvellous Entanglement being shown at the Guggenheim Bilbao. We are producing a large publication dedicated to the piece and Douglass, and a new project with various institutions, to premiere at Sharjah Biennale in 2022. There are a few other major projects which I’m enormously excited about and will announce soon.