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Wura-Natasha Ogunji  (Austin, TX), Two, digital video, 2010

Wura-Natasha Ogunji
Austin, Texas

ARTIST STATEMENT

Primarily working in video, and performance, Wura-Natasha Ogunji has recently begun a series related to the ancient Nigerian sculptural form of the Ife head using stop-motion animation techniques. As the artist jumps in the air, the sound of her breath is truncated into exasperated grunts. Through the physicality of these acts, she proves it is as difficult—if not impossible—to walk on water and fly in the air, a struggle that embodies one’s desire to connect identity to history, time, and place. Last year, these works were shown in exhibitions in Marseille, France, Milan, Italy and Damascus, Syria as a part of the 23rd annual Instants Vidéo Numériques et Poétiques.

BIOGRAPHY

Wura-Natasha Ogunji is a visual artist and performer.  Her performance works include videos in which she engages her body in explorations of movement and mark-making across land, water, and air.  Ms. Ogunji’s most recent public performance one hundred black women, one hundred actions premiered at Austin, Texas’ Fusebox Festival and was nominated for the 2010 Austin Critics Table Award.  She was awarded The Dallas Museum of Art’s 2010 Otis and Velma Davis Dozier Travel Grant and is a selected artist-in-residence as part of the National Performance Network’s Visual Artist Network.  She has participated in residencies at Can Serrat in Spain and Altos de Chavon in the Dominican Republic.  Ms. Ogunji has received grants from the Idea Fund, Houston; The Pollock-Krasner Foundation, New York; and the City of Austin.  Selected exhibitions include Négritude at Exit Art, New York; Screwed Anthologies at labotanica, Houston; and New American Talent: The 22nd Exhibition at Arthouse at the Jones Center, Austin.  She has exhibited in San Francisco at Intersection for the Arts and Galería de la Raza, and at The Oakland Museum of California.  Ms.Ogunji is the curator of 2412, a series of 24-hour long performances.  She holds a B.A. in anthropology from Stanford University, Palo Alto, California and a M.F.A. in photography from San Jose State University, California.  She lives in Austin, Texas.