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Masud Olufani: Poetics of the Disembodied

Jul 16, 2016 - Sep 10, 2016
11am - 5pm

Poetics of the Disembodied

Exhibition Statement

Poetics of the Disembodied is a mixed media sculptural installation of several new works that seek to investigate the imprint of ancestral memory through the mediums of visual form, language, and performance. The title refers to a quality of spirit that exists beyond the frame of the corporeal where time and timelessness intersect.  Drawing on personal and collective narrative (real and imagined; past and present) as source material, the work attempts to suture what was to what is and what can be.  The abutment of disparate materials — readymade and fabricated — invested with memory and meaning refers to the transgenerational registry of the lived experience on the individual and the collective while the subtle allusions to the Sacred point towards the soul’s aspiration for transcendence.  The thematic elements of race, class, social stratification, and isolation serve as points of departure where the limited resources of the body give way to the limitless resources of the spirit.


Masud Ashley Olufani (MAO) is an Atlanta based mixed media artist whose studio practice is rooted in the discipline of sculpture. He is a graduate of Arts High School in Newark, N.J., Morehouse College and The Savannah College of Art and Design where he earned an M.F.A. in sculpture in 2012. Masud has exhibited his work in group and solo shows in Atlanta, Georgia; New Orleans; Louisiana; Chicago, Illinois; Richmond, Virginia; Lacoste, France; and Hong Kong, China. The artist has completed residencies at The Hambidge Center for Arts and Sciences in Rabun, GA.; Creative Currents in Portobello, Panama; and The Creatives Project in Atlanta, GA. He is a recipient of a 2015 Idea Capital Grant and the 2015 Southwest Airlines Art and Social Engagement grant.

Working Artist Project 

This round of Working Artist Project was curated by Saisha Grayson, Assistant Curator, Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, Brooklyn Museum, New York.

“I was really impressed by the complexity and variety of work shared with me by the applicants for this award and am thrilled that the three artists selected will have support over the coming year to pursue their diverse practices and share them with Atlanta audiences. Olufani’s engagement with the politics of history and memory for communities of color ranges across media with an effective poeticism. Frank’s large format photographs create a monumentality for subjects and social rituals that are infrequently depicted in art, inviting viewers to think harder about their significance and meaning. Lide’s quiet dialogue with tactile materials leads her to develop intimate installations that simultaneously evoke the domestic and the archive. I look forward to seeing what they do with this opportunity.” –Saisha Grayson