Bisi Silva / April 2017, The Chicago Stock Exchange Room at The Art Institute of Chicago
In 2017 I hosted the late curator Bisi Silva for a lecture and visit to School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Bisi Silva was everything powerful. The immense intellect of this woman, outmatched only by her sincerity and grace. During the lecture on April 1, Bisi uniquely shared words that have helped me to better understand and contextualize my path and career:
Everything that I do I see it less about institution building but more about exploring different curatorial formats. So even though the Center for Contemporary Art Lagos is an institution and organization, to me it’s actually a project. It’s a project that can last five years, ten years, twenty years, maybe one hundred years if somebody else wants to take it over and run with it.
Àsìkò Art School is also a project that started and was supposed to be a three-year project. Everybody calls it a ‘school,’ but I say it’s a curatorial project.
Even with publishing I think less about bringing together different information, but asking questions such as, ‘What kind of curatorial strategies can take place on the printed page?’
I think with everything I do, it’s really about exploring the idea of ‘the curatorial’ and what are the different formats and strategies that curators can actually use to do the work they do. For me, I’m working in a different kind of context. I would say it’s on one hand a difficult context in which the infrastructure doesn’t exist. But at the same time, that produces a sort of cart blanche that allows you to do whatever you want to do.