(Okwui Enwezor made the introduction.)
Mr Enwezor has a reputation for being a left-wing martinet.
Until his illness in 2018, Enwezor was the director of Haus der Kunst in Munich.
Born and bred in North London near Harrow, Enwezor grew up in a family that liked to cook.
Enwezor often said that black grief had been a national emergency for many years.
Shortly after, Mr Enwezor got his first big break, curating the fledgling Johannesburg Biennale.
Mr Enwezor has invited Mr Deller back; this time he’ll create an installation honouring factory workers from the 1860s.
Not wanting to run out of staple ingredients, Enwezor has been known to stock up his fridge with eight packs of butter at a time.
Ligon, who first met Enwezor in 1998 in New York, says the curator helped mount his artwork in Venice in a way that went beyond his own imagination.
Defiant, satirical and full of energy, these works embody the new artistic forces that Mr Enwezor is bringing to the world’s biggest art exhibition.
“The biggest impact that Okwui Enwezor had, was that he opened our eyes to African contemporary art and the decolonization of art in Africa,” said Gioni.
The exhibition was first conceived by the Nigerian curator Okwui Enwezor, who died in 2019 at the age of 55, after a career of championing black artists.
For 30 years Mr Enwezor has been a curator and critic, intent on stretching the canon of traditional Western contemporary art and testing what it might become.
Enwezor regards baking as an inclusive and fun activity that he likes to do with his children - he'll give them a bowl of flour and let them mix it on the floor whilst he bakes.
It all started in 2018 when Enwezor began to organize in relation to a talk series he was developing at Harvard University around black mourning and white nationalism in America.
OKWUI ENWEZOR, the artistic director of the 2015 Venice Biennale, which opens next month, speaks the slippery, abstract language so common to high-flying contemporary-art curators.
Mr Enwezor has invited a number of well-known black names, such as Mr Ligon, Chris Ofili, Wangechi Mutu, Ellen Gallagher, Kerry James Marshall, Isaac Julien, Theaster Gates and Lorna Simpson.
“Triumphant Scale” was in some ways the culmination of a campaign that began in 1994, when Okeke-Agulu published an interview with Anatsui in the inaugural issue of Nka, a journal that Enwezor founded to secure wider critical attention for African artists.
Enwezor curated African art exhibitions at the Guggenheim Museum in New York, at the Art Institute of Chicago, the International Center for Photography and at PS1 Contemporary Art Center in Queens, throughout the 1990s and 2000s, many of which had a special focus on African photography.
As Enwezor wrote in his initial plan for the exhibition: “With the media’s normalization of white nationalism, the last two years have made clear that there is a new urgency to assess the role that artists, through works of art, have played to illuminate the searing contours of the American body politic.”
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