The Studio Museum in Harlem is the nexus for artists of African descent locally, nationally and internationally and for work that has been inspired and influenced by black culture. It is a site for the dynamic exchange of ideas about art and society.
Akosua Adoma Owusu b. 1984, Alexandria, VA Lives and works in Virginia and Ghana
Akosua Adoma Owusu creates films and videos that blend popular culture, music and mythology from both West African and American sources, examining the crossover and exchange of cultural representation in the contemporary African diaspora. Her videos range from documentaries to pastiche to experimental abstraction.
For Fore, Owusu displays outtakes from a new film called Anancy (2012), converted as film stills onto slides and shown from a slide projector. The film uses the traditional tale, believed to have originated in Ghanaian culture, of Anansi (also known as Ananse or Kwaku Ananse). Drawing on this narrative, Owusu explores the parallels and differences of merging cultures, using the double-sided trickster character of Kwaku Ananse, halfspider and half-man, as a guiding metaphor.
In Anancy, as in her other films, Owusu blends lush, colorful imagery with diverse musical accompaniment. She has investigated cross-cultural pollination in other ways, for instance through examinations of beauty practices and their relationship to racial politics. Her cinematic vision encompasses the increasing ubiquity and lingering unease of transnational identity.
—Abbe Schriber, Curatorial Assistant, The Studio Museum in Harlem