MOAD Talks—Germane Barnes and Olalekan Jeyifous: Architecture and the African Diaspora
To mark the inauguration of Germane Barnes: Ukhamba, Olalekan Jeyifous joins Barnes for “Architecture and the African Diaspora,” a conversation centered around the 2021 Museum of Modern Art publication Reconstructions: Architecture and Blackness in America, which includes contributions by each of them. Exploring intersections of architecture and identity, the two artists and architects discuss how members of marginalized communities might define, create, mark, navigate, move through, maneuver in, and interact within, space, and how architecture serves community and serves humanity.
Germane Barnes is the Principal of Studio Barnes and an Associate Professor and Director of the Master of Architecture Graduate Program at the University of Miami School of Architecture, where his is also the Director of the Community Housing & Identity Lab (CHIL). Barnes’s practice investigates the connection between architecture and identity, examining architecture’s social and political agency through historical research and design speculation. Born in Chicago, Barnes received a Bachelor's of Science in Architecture from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a Master of Architecture from Woodbury University, where he was awarded the Thesis Prize for his project Symbiotic Territories: Architectural Investigations of Race, Identity, and Community.
His work was included in The Museum of Modern Art’s groundbreaking 2021 exhibition Reconstructions: Architecture and Blackness in America and in the 2021 Chicago Architecture Biennial. He won the 2021 Architectural League Prize for Young Architects and Designers, was a 2021–22 Rome Prize Fellow at the American Academy in Rome, and was a member of the inaugural cohort of The Dorchester Industries Experimental Design Lab created by Theaster Gates and sponsored by Prada. His work has been featured MAS Context, Milan Design Week, The New York Times, and Architect Magazine, and acquired for the permanent collections of San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the National Museum of African American History and Culture. His widely published project Griot was included in the 2023 Venice Architecture Biennale, The Laboratory of the Future.
Born in 1977, Olalekan Jeyifous is a Brooklyn-based artist whose work re-imagines social spaces that examine the relationships between architecture, community, and the environment. He has exhibited at venues that include The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; the Vitra Design Museum, Weil am Rhein, Germany; the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, Spain; and The Museum of Modern Art, New York, where his artwork is featured in the permanent collection. In addition to an extensive exhibition history, Olalekan has spent more than a decade creating large-scale installations for a variety of public spaces and was co-commissioned to design a monument for congresswoman Shirley Chisholm as part of the City of New York's "She Built NYC" initiative. Olalekan has garnered numerous awards, including the Silver Lion at the 2023 Venice Architecture Biennale. He is a recipient of the 2021 Fellowship from United States Artists, has been a Wilder Green Fellow at MacDowell, and completed artist residencies at the Bellagio Center, supported by The Rockefeller Foundation, and The Drawing Center's Open Sessions program.
This event is produced in association with the 2023 Miami Book Fair.
MOAD's programs are made possible with the support of the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners. They are sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Arts and Culture, the Florida Council on Arts and Culture, and the National Endowment for the Arts.