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Nsenga Knight - Art, Archives, and Activism , Cairo , Egypt

Nsenga Knight - Art, Archives, and Activism

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Where: Netherlands-Flemish Institute in Cairo (NVIC)
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NVIC - Netherlands-Flemish Institute in Cairo
1, Dr. Mahmoud Azmi Street, Zamalek, Egypt
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Nsenga Knight’s artistic practice is situated at the intersection of Islamic art, Western abstraction, and Black aesthetics. Informed by her upbringing as a first-generation Black American Muslim woman, she seeks to make critical contributions to contemporary culture, and push forward conversations about Black American life and Islam in the 21st century. Through social practice projects, text paintings, drawings, prints and photographs, she revisits and reworks existing archives and cultural points of reference, establishing connections across time, space, and cultures. Her creative process is grounded in research, rigorous experimentation with forms, and unorthodox uses of materials.

As an artist and activist, each of her projects is a permutation responding to a self-reflexive question: who am I and what is my place is in this world?

In this talk, Nsenga Knight will discuss her work with historical archives, memoirs, rituals, and documentary photographs within the aesthetic and historical contexts of abstraction, minimalism, conceptualism, Islamic geometric art and the Black experience. Navigating and layering broad cultural references, Nsenga Knight invites us to re-examine historical trajectories and consider new possibilities that expand our collective imaginations and challenge traditional boundaries of race, nationhood and religion.

Nsenga Knight was born in 1981 in Brooklyn, New York. She currently lives and works in Cairo, Egypt and New York. She has exhibited work at The Drawing Center, New York, NY; Arthur Ross Gallery at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA; Contemporary Arts Museum Houston; Project Row Houses, Houston, TX; Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art at Ursinus College, Pennsylvania; Smack Mellon, Brooklyn, NY; Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Art (MoCADA Museum), Brooklyn, NY; Amistad Gallery at the University of Pennsylvania, New Museum for Contemporary Art, New York, NY; MoMA PS1 among others. From 2016-2017 Knight was an Open Sessions artist in resident at the Drawing Center in New York. Knight is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of Sapelo Square: An Online Resource on Black Muslims in the U.S., which publishes weekly. She earned a Masters of Fine Arts degree at the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor of Arts in Film Production at Howard University. A solo exhibition of her work will be held at California Lutheran University this fall.

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