fbpx Biennale Arte 2022 | Precious Okoyomon
La Biennale di Venezia

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Precious Okoyomon

1993, UK


  • TUE - SUN
    23/04 > 25/09
    11 AM - 7 PM

    FRI - SAT UNTIL 25/09
    11 AM - 8 PM

    TUE - SUN
    27/09 > 27/11
    10 AM - 6 PM
  • Arsenale
  • Admission with ticket

Precious Okoyomon – poet, artist, and chef – stages sculptural topographies composed of living, growing, decaying, and dying materials, including rock, water, wildflowers, snails, and vines. For Okoyomon, nature is inseparable from the historical marks of colonisation and enslavement. In their work, plants like kudzu – a vine native to Asia that was first introduced by the US government to farms in Mississippi in 1876 as a means to fortify erosion of local soil, which had been degraded by the over-cultivation of cotton, and then turned to be uncontrollably invasive – become metaphors for the entanglement of slavery, racialisation, and diaspora with nature, nonetheless holding the capacity for change and revitalisation. In their new work for The Milk of Dreams, To See the Earth before the End of the World (2022), titled after a poem by Ed Roberson, Okoyomon’s sculptures are set against a field of wild growth; here kudzu appears again in the midst of a network of rivers and sugar cane, the latter of which the artist’s grandmother grew in her backyard when Okoyomon was growing up in Nigeria. Much like kudzu, sugar cane is a plant whose very essence is saturated with the economic and historical circumstances of the transatlantic slave trade. Following the play Monsieur Toussaint by Édouard Glissant, whose native Martinique was once one of the world’s largest producers of sugar, Okoyomon’s installation attempts to invoke a politics of ecological revolt and revolution.

Madeline Weisburg

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Biennale Arte
Biennale Arte