Senam Okudzeto’s work has been concerned with themes of intercultural dialogue explored through the lens of contemporary African identity, migration, and modernity. Her ideas are explored primarily through the medium of painting, but her practice is to include film and mixed media works. Recently, she completed a short film, The Dialectic of Jubilation, which was shot in Switzerland and Ghana.
At the Radcliffe Institute, Okudzeto will work on “Ghana Must Go,” a group of mixed-media works and texts that discuss ideas of contemporary African identity, gender, language, cultural ownership, and politics with an aim toward establishing dialogues and links among seemingly disparate contemporary cultures. The project can be seen as a discussion of modernity understood through memory, personal history, and fictional historical narrative. The geographical scope of the project will span the experiences of modern Africans in North and South America, Western Europe, Russia, the former Soviet Union, China, and Africa.
Okudzeto received her bachelor’s degree from the Slade School of Fine Art, London University College, her master’s from the Royal College of Art in London, and pursued postgraduate study at the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program. She was artist in residence at the Studio Museum in Harlem in 2000–2001 and at the Stiftung Laurence Haus in Basel, Switzerland, in 2002. She has taught and lectured at Loyola University, Occidental College, and the Hochshule fur Gestaltung in Switzerland. She has also received numerous awards, including a Pollock Krasner Award in 2002. Okudzeto’s work has been exhibited internationally, most recently at the Studio Museum in Harlem, and the Walker Arts Center. Her work is in the permanent collection of the Baltimore Museum and the Amistad Research Center in New Orleans.