(Review) 'Stasis Quo: Eric Otieno Sumba on Helena Uambembe at MMK Zollamt', in Texte zur Kunst #133 (March 2024)

(Feature) 'Haunted Hydrology: Dominique White envisions the future from the bottom of the ocean', in Frieze #241 (March 2024)

(Roundtable) 'Under Review / Roundtable between Claire Bishop, Jarrett Earnest, Eva Hayward, and Eric Otieno Sumba, moderated by Christian Liclair' in Texte zur Kunst #131 (Sept. 2023) https://www.textezurkunst.de/en/131/

(Review) ' of Eric Asamoah's first monograph "The day after tommorow" in Camera Austria #160 (Feb. 2023) https://camera-austria.at/zeitschrift/160-2022/

Was kann die Kunstgeschichte eigentlich noch? Ist sie nicht unentwirrbar in koloniale und sexistische Strukturen verstrickt? Oder lässt sie sich doch für die Aufarbeitung von Unterdrückungssystemen und entsprechenden Narrativen nutzbar machen? Zum Auftakt des Velvet Voice Club lädt die Redaktion von TEXTE ZUR KUNST Stimmen ein, die zur Intersektion von Black Studies, Crip Studies oder queerem Feminismus mit der Kunstgeschichte sprechen. Die Veranstaltung versucht, das Potential der akademischen Institutionalisierung von marginalen und normativitäts- sowie machtkritischen Positionen auszuloten. Kann eine produktive institutionelle Verankerung von emanzipatorischen Diskursen innerhalb der Kunstgeschichte gelingen? Oder führt an einer Verwässerung der ursprünglichen Ziele kein Weg vorbei? Welche Bedingungen gilt es zu schaffen, um die Disziplin konstruktiv zu erweitern und identitätskritische Ansätze in kunsthistorischer Forschung sowie Lehre zu verankern? Und last, but not least: Wie genau sähe die damit einhergehende methodische und materielle Entgrenzung des Faches aus? https://www.volksbuehne.berlin/#/de/veranstaltungen/velvet-voice-club-art-history-update Photo/Video: © Sharon Hayes, If They Should Ask, 2017 // Courtesy of the artist and Tanya Leighton, Berlin and Los Angeles, photo: Mural Arts, Steve Weinik, © Sharon Hayes

The artist’s large-scale exhibition at the Walther Collection, Ulm, displays his skill for impersonation and adds depth to the genre of self-portraiture. Here, as in many of his meticulous compositions, the personal and political intersect. Adding incredible contextual and technical depth to the genre of self-portraiture, Fosso’s oeuvre bears witness not only to larger post-colonial histories but to the remarkable story of his own life. https://www.frieze.com/article/samuel-fosso-the-man-with-a-thousand-faces-2022-review Image: Samuel Fosso, ‘70s Lifestyle’, 1977, photograph. Courtesy: the artist

On arrival, you relished how familiar it all felt. Coulsdon was always marinated in nostalgia in your mother’s accounts, and to your naive ear, it sounded like paradise (lost). Everything worked there, and the mail was delivered to the door! (She still keeps her mail order catalogues from 1986 to prove it). Since dusk was imminent, you rushed to get a picture before darkness fell, reluctantly foregoing precious views of the small, hilly town, a welcome respite to central London’s tree-less streets. https://lolwe.org/deep-afield/ Illustration: Mòje Ikpeme

As a seismograph of global artistic output, the national pavilions of Venice are no longer fit for purpose. Along with pavilion swaps (France-Germany in 2013), takeovers (Estonia at the Dutch Pavilion in 2022), and literal excavations of national histories (Germany in 1993 and 2022), bland critiques of nationalism return reliably every two years to garnish the curatorial statements of the permanent pavilions. The long and bumpy road to Venice for many of the other pavilions is easily lost on western critics, who often don’t bother to visit them. https://contemporaryand.com/magazines/why-the-venice-biennale-model-is-obsolete/ Image: 70 artists, "Unfolding Questions, Codes, and Contours" (2012-2020), imaged here first iteration in Bergen 2012, cotton, 79 x 57 inches each (photo by Randi Grov Berger and courtesy Entrée).

The April issue of frieze is dedicated to the Venice Biennale. Fernanda Brenner, Thea Havlin, Skye Arundhati Thomas and myself each select an artist to watch at this year’s Biennale: Dineo Seshee Bopape, Giulia Cenci, Shubigi Rao and Luiz Roque. Ahead of Bobape's presentation at TBA21–Academy's Ocean Space in Venice, Eric Otieno Sumba reflects on the artist’s relationship with the sea . https://www.frieze.com/article/dineo-seshee-bopape-and-multiplicity-ocean Images: Cover of Frieze 226 (right) and Dineo Seshee Bopape, ‘Ile aye, moya, l , ndokh...harmonic conversions...mm’, 2021, installation view. Courtesy: © the artist and Institute for Contemporary Art at VCU, Richmond (left).

The general reception of Abloh’s work often straddled the line between fierce contestation and euphoric celebration. Yet, as the outpouring of grief upon the announcement of his death showed, it is his “immaterial” legacy – his kindness, generosity, and readiness to variously lift others – that shifted culture. Abloh understood his job, but perhaps more importantly, he understood the assignment. Read my obituary of Virgil Abloh in the March 2022 Issue of Texte Zur Kunst #125 https://www.textezurkunst.de/125/

53 years after it was first made in 1968, the Ghanaian filmmaker King Ampaw’s short film ‘Black Is Black’ celebrates its inconspicuous premiere. Karina Griffith performs “We Call It Love: An Oppositional Screening” at HAU Berlin's "Radical Mutations: On the Ruins of Rising Suns' Festival curated by Nyabinghi Lab, 2020. https://africasacountry.com/2022/01/swallowed-by-the-archive Image: © Dorothea Tuch.

In Igbo, the word Ámà denotes a site of knowledge and collectivity – a communal vibe. But bringing this archetype to Europe requires an awareness of clichéd visions of Africa, and an excavation of the sonic and haptic as vital challenges to Western modes of seeing the world. Writer and political economist Eric Otieno Sumba follows the wave. https://www.berlinerfestspiele.de/en/gropiusbau/programm/journal/start.html Image: Emeka Ogboh, Ámà: The Gathering Place, 2021, installation view, Gropius Bau, Berlin by Luca Girardini

Far removed from the rich, viral imagery advanced by US pop stars, Orupabo’s rendering is unobtrusive in its simplicity. Yet, Girl on Horse reminds us that, on the flipside of the relatively well-researched visual history of the horse, art history is only beginning to decisively grapple with the injustices – slavery, colonialism and capitalist patriarchy – symbolized by the girl’s severed limbs. https://www.frieze.com/article/frida-orupabo-girl-on-horse

In einer Filmreihe verbindet Oliver Hardt die Themen aus Kara Walkers Werk mit den Perspek­ti­ven Schwar­zer Menschen in Deutsch­land. Im Gespräch mit Autor Eric Otieno Sumba erzählt der Filme­ma­cher, was uns an den Aben­den erwar­tet. https://www.schirn.de/magazin/interviews/2021_interview/schwarz_ist_keine_farbe/

Daniela Ortiz’s Small-Scale Monuments Are Bollards Of Resistance. At the heart of the Peruvian artist's painting, sculpture and performance is a critique of border regimes and a celebration of anti-colonial aesthetics. The Cuzco-based artist presents her site-specific performance 'The children are not of the wolf' for the curatorial program Hidden Histories https://griotmag.com/en/daniela-ortizs-small-scale-monuments-are-bollards-of-resistance/ Image: Daniela Ortiz, Anti-colonial monuments (Columbus), 2018 series of six sand painted clays. COURTESY Galleria La Veronica

In Frankfurt, Gqunta summons her ancestors via her dreams to reassociate herself with her alienated and alienating inheritance. She reclaims severed connections between herself, the land and that which grows on it, as well as the physical, mental and emotional implications of that process. In her hands, the ugliness of South Africa’s famous landscape is revealed. After all, how beautiful can a garden really be when it’s on stolen land? https://www.frieze.com/article-lungiswa-gqunta-zollamt-mmk-review-2021 Image: Lungiswa Gqunta, 'Tending to the Harvest of Dreams', 2021, installation view, ZOLLAMT MMK, Frankfurt. Courtesy: the artist and MMK, Frankfurt; photograph: Diana Pfammatter