31 Days 31 Trans Voices | Day 26: Evan Ifekoya, Genuine. Original. Authentic.

Evan Ifekoya is a multidisciplinary artist born in 1988 in Iperu, Nigeria, who lives and works in London, UK. Their work explores the politicization of contemporary culture, wider society and aesthetics. Ifekoya’s practice begins by asking what it would mean to start from a place of abundance, rather than scarcity. Their moving image and audio creations explore a cosmology of healing through sound, stillness and the creation of intentional space.

Ifekoya’s video innovations investigate the possibility of an erotic and poetic occupation using film, performative writing and sound, focused on co-authored, intimate forms of knowledge production and the radical potential of spectacle. In Sound Acts, they presented the ongoing project ‘A Score, A Groove, A Phantom’ which explores archives of blackness, sociality and inheritance as they diffract through queer nightlife and trauma in the present moment. In their own words: “‘A Score, A Groove, A Phantom: 16 bars’ is a performance as expanded song, exploring the role of language in cultivating and nourishing spaces of belonging. By drawing on queer black archives of social space and nightlife, the performance explores darkness in abundance as spectrality and the mouth as site of experience. 16 bars is a refrain, an overwriting undermining. A gift. A glitch. A glow.”

Ifekoya is an artist who through sound, text, video and performance places demands on existing systems and institutions of power, to re-center and prioritize the experience and voice of those previously marginalized. The practice considers art as a site where resources can be both redistributed and renegotiated, whilst challenging the implicit rules and hierarchies of public and social space. Through archival and sonic investigations, they speculate on blackness in abundance, the body of the ocean a watery embodied presence in the work.

Evan Ifekoya

They established the collectively run and QTIBPOC (queer, transgender, intersex, black and people of color) led Black Obsidian Sound System (B.O.S.S.) in 2018 and currently lecture on the Fine Art and History of Art course at Goldsmiths University of London, UK. Recent exhibitions and presentations include 180 The Strand, UK (2019); De Appel, Netherlands (2019); KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Germany (2017); and Serpentine Galleries, UK (2016).

In 2019, Ifekoya won the Kleinwort Hambros Emerging Artists Prize and in 2017 the Arts Foundation award for Live Art sponsored by Yoma Sasberg Estate.

They have presented exhibitions, performances and screenings across Europe and Internationally including: Liverpool Biennial (2020); De Appel Netherlands (2019); Gasworks London (2018) Contemporary Arts Centre New Orleans as part of Prospect 4 (2017); Stevenson Gallery, Cape Town (2016); Studio Voltaire London (2015) and Castlefield Gallery Manchester (2014).

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Their work has been showcased in exhibitions at a number of key galleries and museums, including the Whitechapel Art Gallery and the Ca’ Pesaro International Gallery of Modern Art. Ifekoya has been featured in articles for the AnOther, and the ARTFORUM. The most recent article is Transformer: A Rebirth of Wonder written by Katie McCain for the this is tomorrow in December 2019.

To follow Ifekoya, visit their website or find them on Twitter: @evan_ife or Instagram: @evan_ife.

You can also email for information at: info@evanifekoya.com.

Terry Willits

Trans Speak's Editor-in-Chief is an international mixed media artist, writer, LGBTQ advocate, coffee snob, dog dad, and FTM transgender - but not necessarily in that order, who practices what he posts. A native of Cedar Rapids, Iowa; he now does the writing thing from St. Louis, Missouri. You should check out his work - it's recommended by 4 out of 5 people that recommend stuff.

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