Okpokwasili draws inspiration from the disruptive, pre-colonial, durational practice and public act of shaming conducted by women in south-eastern Nigeria called ‘Sitting on a Man.’ This form of embodied protest was a collective of women demanding restitution from powerful people who have caused harm. Okpokwasili reimagines this collective movement as an act of community restoration.
Collaborating with selected artists referred to as ‘activators’, audiences are invited to participate in creating an improvisational public song through gesture and sound within an architectural installation devised by Okpokwasili and Peter Born.
Through this generative work, Okpokwasili poses questions for the public museum and its values:
- How might strangers come together to build something?
- How to generate vocabularies together?
- What does the space need from you?
- And who becomes visible to whom?
Okwui Okpokwasili was born in New York, USA, in 1972 as a child of Nigerian migrants. She came to prominence with her one-woman show Bronx Gothic 2014 and was named a MacArthur Fellow in 2018.