Bronx Museum & Royal College of Art Present: Adjani Okpu-Egbe Round Table

Friday, June 21, 2024 

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The Royal College of Art, London



In Conversation
Jun 21, 2024      10am - 12pm

We are thrilled to cohost this event with the Royal College of Art in London. Our Director of Curatorial Programs, Eileen Jeng Lynch, will be on-site in London to discuss Adjani Okpu-Egbe‘s work and his forthcoming first monograph with the artist and a panel of experts: Keyna EleisonDr. Nicole R. FleetwoodKhanyisile Mbongwa, and Prof. Dr. Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung, moderated by Amy Rosenblum-Martín.

The speakers are each contributing an essay to Okpu-Egbe’s monograph, which will detail his artistic practice from 2008 to the present day. This roundtable event provides a forum for the contributors and artist to meet and discuss his work, thereby helping to shape and usher forth the publication.

Pictured Above: Adjani Okpu Egbe, An Allegorical Conglomeration of Origins and Inevitabilities, 2024, Courtesy of the Artist.

The Panelists

Eileeng Jeng Lynch

Eileen Jeng Lynch is The Bronx Museum’s Director of Curatorial Programs who stewards the Museum’s curatorial initiatives and exhibition schedule with an eye toward expanding its presence in The Bronx and beyond. Jeng Lynch made her curatorial debut at The Bronx Museum with “Abigail DeVille: Bronx Heavens,” the artist’s first museum survey. “Abigail DeVille: In the Fullness of Time,” a continuation of that survey, opens at Bowdoin College Museum of Art in June 2024. Jeng Lynch also curated “Bronx Calling: The Sixth AIM Biennial,” an exhibition showcasing work by artists who completed The Bronx Museum's flagship AIM Fellowship,
a career accelerator program designed to give promising artists the knowledge and skills to sustain a successful practice.

Previously, Jeng Lynch was the Senior Curator of Visual Arts at Wave Hill, also in The Bronx, where she organized exhibitions and programs, commissioned artists for site-specific projects, and managed the residency and emerging artists programs. Jeng Lynch has held positions at RxArt, Sperone Westwater, and The Art Institute of Chicago in the Department of Contemporary Art. She has been a guest curator at the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art at SUNY New Paltz, The Yard: City Hall Park, Trestle Gallery, Sperone Westwater, Lesley Heller Workspace, Dorsky Gallery Curatorial Programs, Garis & Hahn, and Radiator Gallery, among others. As the founder of Neumeraki, Jeng Lynch has launched national and global community-based curatorial initiatives. Jeng Lynch received her MA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and BA from Syracuse University.

Photo by Kevin Li.

Adjani Okpu-Egbe

Cameroonian-British artist Adjani Okpu-Egbe is an MA candidate in Contemporary Art Practice at RCA. This inaugural recipient of the Ritzau Art Prize presented his first U.S. solo exhibition, “On Delegitimisation and Solidarity…” at ISCP, which Hyperallergic named among the 10 best exhibitions in New York City of 2021. His work is known for its expressive, stylized, semi-figurative language with autobiographical content and unpredictable materials. With symbolism like fish, lemon vines, and fantastical beasts that he refers to as "manimals", the artist's condemnation of oppression and celebration of freedom is clear and far-reaching. His subjects include anthropology, sociology, philosophy, archaeology, iconography, history, spirituality, feminism, mythology, war, and activism. Inspired by daily life and what the artist refers to as "unknown forces", his work highlights specificities within interconnected themes, in a process and oeuvre he describes as a "documentation of the human condition through spontaneous interventions and research-based-proactive public intellectualism".

Conceptually exploring autobiography, the artist takes salvaged materials to heart and uses them as convincing metaphors. In addition to painting, often in jewel tones, he customises readymades or makes materials from scratch. The artist incorporates collage and everyday objects such as books, mouse traps, bubble wrap, artificial plants, hair, glitter, lit candles, etc, which he finds in streets and building sites. He often uses non-traditional supports like moulded door panels and bookshelves as organizational motifs.

Amy Rosenblum-Martín

Amy Rosenblum-Martín is an independent curator based in New York City. As a former Pérez Art Museum Miami curator, she organized the Queens Museum’s historic traveling exhibition “Global Conceptualism” in Miami. She co-authored the original Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros website, before becoming a Bronx Museum curator. After her turn to independent curating in 2005, Amy worked for MoMA, the Guggenheim, the Metropolitan, and many other major museums nationally and internationally. Recently Amy curated “Ana Mendieta: Thinking about Children’s Thinking” at the Sugar Hill Children’s Museum with the Mendieta Estate. She was guest assistant curator of “Marking Time: Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration” at MoMA PS1, which the New York Times included in “The Most Important Moments in Art in 2020.” She curated Adjani Okpu-Egbe’s US solo debut at ISCP in Brooklyn – ”Delegitimization, Solidarity and the Myth of Violent Africa”– which Hyperallergic included in “Best of 2021: Our Top 10 New York City Art Shows.” She curated “Swagger and Tenderness: The South Bronx Portraits by John Ahearn and Rigoberto Torres” at the Bronx Museum. She was the originating curatorial advisor of Marisa Morán Jahn’s “Float” at the Guggenheim in spring 2024. Her current projects include "Espéjese" at the Ringling Museum in Sarasota, Florida and “Intersectional Environmentalism: Global Indigeneities through an Afro-Pacific Lens." Rosenblum-Martín completed graduate studies at Columbia University and is Guggenheim part-time staff and Parsons/The New School faculty.

Photo by Michael Palma Mir.

Keyna Eleison

Keyna Eleison is a curator, writer, researcher, Griot heiress and shaman, narrator, singer, ancestral chronicler, cultural manager. Master in Art History and specialist in History and Architecture from the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio) and Bachelor in Philosophy from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ). Member of the African Heritage Commission for the laureation of the Cais do Valongo region as a World Heritage Site (UNESCO). She was manager of all the cultural institutions of the Rio de Janeiro city with the Municipality of Rio de Janeiro from November 2015 to January 2017. Pedagogical Coordinator of the Escola Livre de Artes Visuais - Parque Lage between 2018 and 2019. Curator of the 10th SIART International Biennial, in Bolivia. Currently, she is chronicler for "Contemporary &", artistic director of the Museum of Modern Art of Rio de Janeiro (MAM Rio) from 2020 to January 2023 and curator of the Biennial of the Amazons 2023/2025 . Works in the development of exhibitions and meanings of artworks and artists, orientation of artistic processes, curatorship of exhibitions, art teaching, having as precedent in the coordination in art education and narrative the reinforcement of the relationship of passage and capture of oral knowledge.

Dr. Nicole R. Fleetwood

Dr. Nicole R. Fleetwood is an art historian and the inaugural James Weldon Johnson Professor at NYU. A MacArthur Fellow, she is the author and curator of Marking Time: Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration, winner of the National Book Critics Award in Criticism, the John Hope Franklin Publication Prize of the American Studies Association, the Susanne M. Glasscock Humanities Book Prize for Interdisciplinary Scholarship, and both the Charles Rufus Morey Book Award in art history and the Frank Jewett Mather Award in art criticism. Fleetwood co-curated and co-edited Aperture’s Prison Nation, an exhibition and publication focusing on photography’s role in documenting mass incarceration. She is currently writing a nonfiction book titled Between the River and Railroad Tracks about growing up in the Black Midwest. She is on the board of MoMA PS1 and The Kitchen, NYC.

Photo credit by Naima Green.

Khanyisile Mbongwa

Khanyisile Mbongwa
is a Cape Town based independent curator and sociologist who engages with her curatorial practice as Curing & Care. Thus using the creative to instigate spaces for emancipatory practices, joy and play. Mbongwa is a PhD candidate at the Institute for Create Arts, University of Cape Town and is a Black C.O.R.E (Care of Radical Energy) Fellow at the University of Melbourne. She is the founding Chief Curator of the Stellenbosch Triennale in Cape Town and was the Curator for the Liverpool Biennial 2023. In 2018 she took up a curatorial research residency at CAT.Cologne, Germany focusing on the public sphere, interventions and public policies. As a result curated BLUEPRINT: Where There’s Nowhere To Go, Where Is Home? Her most recent projects include, in 2020, Process as Resistance, Resilience & Regeneration – a group exhibition co-curated with Julia Haarmann honoring a decade of CAT. Cologne’s residency program and Athi-Patra Ruga’s solo at Norval Foundation titled iiNyanka Zonyaka (The Lunar Songbook). In 2021, Mbongwa curated a group exhibition titled History’s Footnote: On Love & Freedom at Marres, House for Contemporary Culture in Maastrict, Netherlands. Mbongwa has been a lecturer at UCT (University of Cape Town), DUT (Durban University of Technology), University of Zurich, University of Basel and Rhodes University, as well as Cape Town Creative Academy. In 2023 Mbongwa was invited by the Havard Center for African Studies as part of their workshop series, Mbongwa titled her workshop There Is No Table For My Seat which is her ongoing research and positioning of ancestral knowledge systems as fundamental to the imagination of Black & Queer Futurity and the Black Global Diaspora Tradition.

Photo courtesy Stellenbosch Triennale, South Africa.

Prof. Dr. Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung

Prof. Dr. Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung is a curator, author and biotechnologist, currently serving as director and chief curator of Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW) Berlin, Germany. He is the founder and was artistic director of SAVVY Contemporary in Berlin, as well as the artistic director of sonsbeek20–24, a quadrennial contemporary art exhibition in Arnhem, the Netherlands. He also worked as curator-at-large for Adam Szymczyk’s Documenta 14 in Athens, Greece and Kassel, Germany in 2017 and was guest curator of the Dak’Art biennale in Dakar, Senegal, in 2018. Additionally, he served as the artistic director for the 12th and 13th editions of the Bamako Encounters photography biennial in Mali, taking on this role in 2019 and 2022. Together with the Miracle Workers Collective, he curated the Finland Pavilion at the 58th Venice Biennale, 2019. Prof. Dr. Ndikung was a guest professor in curatorial studies and sound art at the Städelschule in Frankfurt, and he is currently a professor in and head of the faculty of Spatial Strategies Master’s program at the Weissensee Academy of Art in Berlin. He was the recipient of the first OCAD University International Curators Residency fellowship in Toronto in 2020. His published works include, inter alia, The Delusions of Care (2021), An Ongoing-Offcoming Tale: Ruminations on Art, Culture, Politics and Us/Others (2022) and Pidginization as Curatorial Method (2023).

Photo by Franziska Sinn.

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