Ima-Abasi Okon

Visual Arts - Shortlisted 2019

Ima-Abasi Okon’s practice across print, sculpture and moving image revolves around a preoccupation with knowledge, its production and the methods by which language both regulates and distributes it. The result is work that often deals with how information is performed as an extension of knowledge.

A common manifestation of these themes is Okon’s use of industrial and personal objects. She ‘repurposes’ them by removing their function, raising questions relating to value, productivity and excess, whilst highlighting language as a proprietor of taste. For example her installation at The Showroom London – There’s something in the conversation that is more interesting than the finality of a (title) ( 2018) – consisted of a dishwasher and pages from a ‘General Service Agreement’, setting out the terms under which Okon would make and supply the gallery with dishwasher tablets.

Okon’s current research propounds magic as a sculptural act and explores faith as a forensic technology for ‘future-otherwise-possibilities’. ‘Otherwise Possibilities’, a term borrowed from Ashon T. Crawley, signifies the infinite alternatives to ‘what is’, and points to a realm that is necessary for the futurity of black people and to disrupt the current organisation of power across gender and class.