Blog: MCA DNA Index

From the Cutting Room Floor: Otobong Nkanga

By Bridget Reilly O'Carroll

Featured image

You stand very close to a white gallery wall and look along a crack upon its surface filled with a lightening gradient of brown organic material.
Installation view, Otobong Nkanga: To Dig a Hole That Collapses Again, MCA Chicago, Mar 31–Sep 2, 2018. Work shown: Anamnesis (detail), 2018. Coffee, tea, peat, tobacco, cacao, spices; dimensions variable. Courtesy of the artist
Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago

blog intro

Our digital team pours over hours of footage when creating the videos for our exhibitions and events. But to tell a compelling narrative, a lot of material gets dropped on the proverbial cutting room floor. In the third installment of this behind-the-scenes blog series, we feature a few excerpts from an interview with Otobong Nkanga, the most recent artist to be featured in our Ascendant Artist series.

About the video

Due to Otobong Nkanga's busy schedule, as well as our own, the only time we could interview her was as she installed Anamnesis—a huge installation within a wall that is filled with fragrant materials like coffee, chocolate, and peat. As she led us through her works, we asked about her choices of materials, the roles body and biography play in her work, and her visual aesthetic, among many other questions.

Two clips we couldn’t fit into the larger narrative of the video, but are quite attached to, provide insight into Otobong’s practice and how she sees the world. The first is a lovely glimpse into the artist's personality as she digs into her materials for Anamnesis; the second is of Otobong talking through her idea of stone as a body and explaining the hybrid figures that appear throughout her work.


Video 1 captions


Video 2 captions

Video Stats

Film date: Apr 14, 2018
Hours of footage: 09:20:00

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