86 episodes

Conversations with some of the most engaged artists and thinkers working today.

e-flux podcast e-flux

    • Arts
    • 4.8 • 4 Ratings

Conversations with some of the most engaged artists and thinkers working today.

    African Film Institute: Sosena Solomon, Mpho Matsipa, Natacha Nsabimana

    African Film Institute: Sosena Solomon, Mpho Matsipa, Natacha Nsabimana

    A conversation between filmmaker Sosena Solomon, designer and urban scholar/theorist Mpho Matsipa, and anthropologist Natacha Nsabimana. 
    This episode was recorded at e-flux Screening Room before a screening of Merkato, curated by Natacha Nsabimana. Sosena Solomon’s Merkato is a documentary tracing the lives of four people as they navigate the demands of life and work in one of the biggest markets in Africa in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Filmed on location in Merkato, before a radical architectural transformation, Solomon’s documentary invites us to ask expansive questions about space, architecture, transition, and preservation.
    Sosena Solomon is an Ethiopian-American social documentary film and multimedia visual artist whose work explores cross-sections of various subcultures and communities in flux, carefully teasing out cultural nuances and capturing personal narratives through arresting visual storytelling. Solomon has worked for many years in the commercial and nonprofit sectors as a director and cinematographer on many short film projects, including Dreaming of Jerusalem, a Discovery-plus original documentary about the Ethiopian-Jewish community in Gondar, and Merkato. She has exhibited work at the Sundance Film Festival, Cinema Africa, Tribeca, and DOC NYC. She earned her BA in Television Production from Temple University and her MFA in Social Documentary film from the School of Visual Arts. Solomon is currently lecturing in the Fine Arts Department at the University of Pennsylvania’s Stuart Weitzman School of Design, and working with the Metropolitan Museum of Art to create new digital and in-gallery content that will reframe the Museum’s African art galleries.
    Mpho Matsipa is an educator, researcher, and independent curator.  Matsipa holds a PhD in Architecture from the University of California, Berkeley, pursued as a Fulbright Scholar. She has curated several exhibitions, discursive platforms, and experimental architectural research including the Venice International Architecture Biennale (2008; 2021); African Mobilities at the Architecture Museum, Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich (2018); and Studio-X Johannesburg, in South Africa (2014–16). Her curatorial and research interests are at the intersection of urban studies, experimental architecture, and visual art. Mpho is an associate curator for the Lubumbashi Biennale, in the Democratic Republic of Congo (2024) and she teaches History and Theory at SCI-Arc.
    Natacha Nsabimana teaches in the anthropology department at the university of Chicago. Her research and teaching interests include postcolonial critique, musical movements, and the cultural and political worlds of African peoples on the continent and in the diaspora.

    The African Film Institute aims to create a home and a place of intimacy with African cinema in New York, through developing gradually and organically a viewing program animated by fellowships; a growing library; an active writers’ room; and an expanding catalog of recorded dialogs. The African Film Institute draws from the visual cultures that view cinema as an evening school: a popular information system in the service of education, aesthetic experience, and public dissemination—employing a methodology concerning the use of cinema’s collective production, and investing in viewing methods informed by different uses of time, visual and textual histories, and social struggles and hopes in mutuality between their own locality and the world at large. The African Film Institute is convened by Christian Nyampeta and hosted by e-flux Screening Room.

    • 30 min
    Cosmos Cinema conversation: Alice Wang

    Cosmos Cinema conversation: Alice Wang

    Ben Eastham talks to artist Alice Wang. This episode is part of a series produced in conjunction with the 14th Shanghai Biennale at the Power Station of Art (November 2023–March 2024), curated by Anton Vidokle, Zairong Xiang, Hallie Ayres, Lukas Brasiskis, and Ben Eastham.

    Alice Wang’s sculptural forms shine a light on the uncanny forces that shape the physical world. Using material such as fossils, meteorites, moss, and heat—ranging from leftover radiation from the Big Bang to the wax secreted by bees—her work aims to reconfigure our understanding of reality.
     
     
    Intro sound: excerpt from Carsten Nicolai (aka Alva Noto), COSMOS (Soundtrack for 14th Shanghai Biennale), 2023. 14 tracks, overall 117:30 minutes.

    • 26 min
    Cosmos Cinema conversation: Nolan Oswald Dennis

    Cosmos Cinema conversation: Nolan Oswald Dennis

    Hallie Ayres talks to artist Nolan Oswald Dennis. This episode is part of a series produced in conjunction with the 14th Shanghai Biennale at the Power Station of Art (November 2023–March 2024), curated by Anton Vidokle, Zairong Xiang, Hallie Ayres, Lukas Brasiskis, and Ben Eastham.
    In his para-disciplinary artistic practice, Nolan Oswald Dennis explores “a Black consciousness of space”—the material and metaphysical conditions of decolonization—questioning spacetime histories through system-specific interventions, sculptures, and drawings.
    Black Liberation Zodiac: Khunuseti focuses on a group of stars known in isiZulu as isiLimela (in English, the Pleiades) whose appearance over the southern hemisphere horizon in June signals the beginning of the season of planting, rites of adulthood, and other cyclical transitions. As these stars appear in the southern hemisphere they simultaneously disappear in the northern hemisphere. Their path across the equator reveals a condition of common difference which echoes planetary geopolitical relations.

    This work is part of the “Black Liberation Zodiac” (2017 - ∞ ) series which remaps the night sky across the ecliptic plane as a set of star charts based on the IAU celestial-coordinate system. This series replaces the hegemonic constellation system derived from Eurasian mythological history with imagery drawn from the archive of black liberation iconography. Taking cues from circumpolar and seasonal constellations which are visible exclusively in either the northern or southern hemisphere, Dennis works on the premise that there are always, at a minimum, two night skies. This series explores the poetics of a multi-celestial world through iterative installations referencing planetarium displays, science museums, and southern Afri-indigenous cosmologies.

    • 24 min
    Cosmos Cinema conversation: Thotti

    Cosmos Cinema conversation: Thotti

    Hallie Ayres talks to artist Thotti. This episode is part of a series produced in conjunction with the 14th Shanghai Biennale at the Power Station of Art (November 2023–March 2024), curated by Anton Vidokle, Zairong Xiang, Hallie Ayres, Lukas Brasiskis, and Ben Eastham.
    Thotti works at the frontier between trance and nothingness, the image and its oblivion, motion and remembrance, cinema and its expansion. As he puts it: “South Atlantic dissolved in the world’s skies.” 
    Read more about his installation for the Shanghai Biennale, (Mo) Crossing to the End and the Beginning Again, via the Institute of the Cosmos website.

    • 22 min
    Cosmos Cinema conversation: Lucile Desamory

    Cosmos Cinema conversation: Lucile Desamory

    Ben Eastham talks to artist Lucile Desamory. This episode is part of a series produced in conjunction with the 14th Shanghai Biennale at the Power Station of Art (November 2023–March 2024), curated by Anton Vidokle, Zairong Xiang, Hallie Ayres, Lukas Brasiskis, and Ben Eastham.

    Lucile Desamory works at the frontiers of perception and cognition, with a special interest in what the Berlin-based artist refers to as the “too-much, the falsified, and spurned narratives.” The breadth of her pursuit is reflected in the diversity of her approach, which uses film, painting, embroidery, photography, and her voice. Often working in collaboration, her oeuvre extends to theatrical works, feature-length films, and a television show currently in production.

    • 26 min
    Cosmos Cinema conversation: Heidi Lau

    Cosmos Cinema conversation: Heidi Lau

    Hallie Ayres talks to artist Heidi Lau. This episode is part of a series produced in conjunction with the 14th Shanghai Biennale at the Power Station of Art (November 2023–March 2024), curated by Anton Vidokle, Zairong Xiang, Hallie Ayres, Lukas Brasiskis, and Ben Eastham. 
    Heidi Lau’s luminous ceramics evoke architectural ruins, funerary vessels, and mythological creatures. Channeling the artist’s personal history, the syncretic cultures of her native Macau, and the diasporic experience, Lau transforms Taoist ritual tokens of mourning and remembrance into what Kang Kang describes as “oblique monuments for an impossible ancestry.”
     
    Intro sound: excerpt from Carsten Nicolai (aka Alva Noto), COSMOS (Soundtrack for 14th Shanghai Biennale), 2023. 14 tracks, overall 117:30 minutes.

    • 16 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
4 Ratings

4 Ratings

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Interviewee Choice

Yes! Nolan Oswald Dennis! A massive fave.

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