Arit Emmanuela Etukudo: The Christening
Saturday 14 August – Saturday 9 October 2021
Arit Emmanuela Etukudo is a Nigerian-American experimental storyteller whose practice focuses on the ideas of identity and life experience. She recreates the human body in various sculptural forms to symbolize the complexity of identity and tell the stories of the ways in which the black woman's body is allowed to exist. She has a background in filmmaking, theatre, creative writing, and photography which she combines to create image heavy installation pieces.
For this show at NAE, Etukudo will be presenting a mixed-media video installation titled The Christening, a piece of work which was inspired by a moment where the artist nearly drowned in a swimming pool and experienced an extreme state of solitude which was confirmed as she reached the surface of the water, as her family did not notice her drowning. The work is a metaphor to existential questions, specifically from the experience of a queer black woman. Consequently, her work overemphasises her presence and stamp on this world through the overrepresentation of her body.
The exhibition will also include new works: two collage triptychs.
Arit Emmanuela Etukudo was the recipient of the NAE Open 2019 Exhibition Prize. This will be her first solo exhibition in the UK. Etukudo is also a writer and poet, her debut poetry book titled you will be back (2018) will be available to purchase in the NAE shop.
Image credit: Arit Emmanuela Etukudo, The Things It Carried 4, 2021 (detail). Courtesy of the Artist.
This immersive poetry performance is an invitation into the written psyche of Arit Emmanuela Etukudo through her private journal entries and published poetry collection "You will be back". Some of the entries read during this performance are also featured in her newest work showing in the group show titled "In reality these things need to be said" at Backlit Gallery, Nottingham (6–29 August).