Mikael Owunna Infinite Essence

May 7–Jul 17, 2021

Equipped with his camera, an ultraviolet light, and fluorescent body paint, multi-media artist Mikael Owunna sets out to recast the Black body as an incarnation of the eternal cosmos and make visible the divinity inherent in Blackness. His series “Infinite Essence” responds to pervasive media images of Black people being shot and killed by police by articulating an alternative vision of the Black body as immortal and transcendent. Owunna explores this transfigured vision of the Black body in relationship with West African spiritual and cosmological systems, particularly Igbo and Dogon, and each image references divine principles that connect Black bodies of the present across space and time to ancestral conceptions of the universe.

Participating Artist

  1. Mikael Owunna is a queer Nigerian-Swedish American multi-media artist and engineer based in Pittsburgh, PA. Their work explores intersections of visual media with engineering, optics Blackness and African cosmologies. His first monograph Limitless Africans was released in 2019 and awarded as a finalist for the FotoEvidence Book Award.

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