Next City is proud to welcome seven internationally recognized artists to its World Stage exhibition at Habitat III in Quito, Ecuador.
The seven chosen artists are Karo Akpokeire (Lagos), Luisa Dantas (New Orleans), Haas and Hahn (Amsterdam), Michael Leung (Hong Kong), Wale Oyejide (Philadelphia and Nigeria), Barry Rosenthal (New York) and Tintin Wulia (Brisbane).
Selected through a competitive process, these seven artists will show work addressing the environmental, economic and design questions that are at the center of the United Nations conference on housing and sustainable urban development happening in Quito on October 17-20. They will be one of hundreds of presenters on the World Stage. (See full schedule here.)
Coming from five continents, these artists share a commitment to creating art that interacts with its city of origin while never losing its own perspective. Whether it’s explosively bright paintings on the scale of a city block, a fashion show that forces the viewer to consider the human collateral of globalization, an interactive workshop that asks participants to create their own passports in public, a documentary, or a street kiosk that serves as a site of artistic intervention, the common thread through these works is an invitation to viewers to reconsider their role in a changing urban landscape.
“The World Stage represents a nontraditional art space for sharing and forging connections and gaining new perspectives on the problems and potential solutions associated with everyday urban life. I look forward to engaging with individuals and collectives from diverse cultures and disciplines, comparing experiences and observations with them, and where possible planting the seeds for future collaborations,” says Akpokeire.
All seven artists will give talks on the World Stage during the UN-Habitat convening, sharing their work with an international audience of urban activists, leaders and thinkers. Artist Tintin Wulia will also offer an interactive workshop throughout the three-day conference. The exhibit of the artists’ work and their travel to Quito is funded through a grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.
“My works spark conversations on the urgencies and challenges of living together in our globalized world. Reconsidering our concepts of territoriality is crucial for this. This is why I hope to engage policymakers and the public of Habitat III in my workshop-performance, Make Your Own Passport,” says Wulia.
Designed by the award-winning Colombian social design collective Proyecto NN to be modular, affordable and reusable, the World Stage is one example of the innovative design solutions changing the urban landscape. After Habitat III concludes, the World Stage will be repurposed as community education space in the city of Quito.
Find a full schedule of World Stage events at NextCity.org/habitat3.
ABOUT THE WORLD STAGE ARTISTS
Karo Akpokiere’s work fuses the minutiae of everyday life in Lagos with iconography of popular culture. His work blurs the boundaries between fine art, graphic design and political satire, challenging our perceptions of the visual encounters that define the urban experience.
The Lagos drawings are inspired by the pop culture of the Nigerian capital, which is Africa’s largest city and one of the fastest growing cities in the world.
This project also includes a small-run newspaper called Megacity Times.
Brasilian-American filmmaker Luisa Dantas works at the intersection of storytelling and social justice. Her most recent work, Land of Opportunity, is rooted in post–Katrina New Orleans and explores urban redevelopment through the eyes of those on the frontlines. Through perspectives that travel across media, from film to interactive, this project asks the fundamental question: What kinds of communities do we want to (re)build in the 21st century?
Jeroen Koolhaas and Dre Urhahn joined forces in 2005 under the name Haas&Hahn. In the decade since, they have worked with underserved communities around the world to create public art projects on a monumental scale. These projects create a social and visual dialogue with their surroundings while serving to beautify them. In the past 10 years they have created artworks in Brazil, Haiti, Curaçao, Sweden and the United States.
Michael Leung is a designer, urban farmer, lecturer and urban interventionist. In 2015, he co-founded Kai Fong Pai Dong in the Yau Ma Tei district of Hong Kong.
Kai Fong Pai Dong (街坊排檔 ) is a self-organized neighborhood street kiosk designed to support the neighborhood from the bottom up. Horizontally run by 14 people, the street kiosk relies on mutual aid and community support, and aims to empower those who run it. “We’re excited to share our local, post-work and post-capitalist activities on a global platform to encourage new exchanges and inspire creative alternatives, Leung said on behalf of Kai Fong Pai Dong (街坊排檔).
Walé Oyéjidé marries African wax fabrics and high-end Italian tailoring to create clothing that comments on today’s globalized, migrant-driven economy. Born and raised in Nigeria, Oyéjidé worked as a lawyer before turning to design as a venue for illustrating the rich and unique stories of immigrant populations in the Western world. Oyéjidé does not use professional models to display his fashion; instead, he employs regular people from the cities from which he draws his inspiration.
Barry Rosenthal collects the detritus of our shared urban experience and crafts this refuse into photo-ready sculptures designed for today’s digital age.
He uses his work to force a conversation about the waste we create and its impact on the environment.
Brisbane-based artist Tintin Wulia is internationally recognized for sociopolitical artworks that are often interactive and participatory. Her work deals with questions of international belonging, migration, transnationalism and surveillance.
“Make Your Own Passport” is an installation and workshop- performance that happens in public. Through it, Wulia invites participants to create their own personal passports while at the same time becoming part of a conversation and a spectacle.