WHEN THINGS ARE BEINGS
Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam
2022 - 2023
Winnow(er) (2022) is the outcome of Ayo’s quest to learn the craft of weaving winnowing fans in the style of Langi people living in northern Uganda—the objects are known as Odero (“Langi winnowers”) in the artist’s mother tongue. Presenting the fans as sculptural objects that were inspired by a Langi winnower inherited by the artist herself, the project investigates embodied knowledge about personal and collective histories etched deep within diasporic bodies. The center of gravity for this project lies in the expansion of Ayo’s practice towards informal knowledge production and immaterial cultural heritage.
Conceptually, Winnow(er) represents the forces manifested through the multiplicity of energies and purposes that can be contained within this object. Winnowers are not only used in agriculture, but also in ceremonies such as Dwoko Atin Awobi lot, a child-cleansing practice and rite of passage that UNESCO recognized in 2013 as intangible cultural heritage. Ayo’s engagement with her diasporic experience—using Dutch materials while engaging with Ugandan techniques and heritage—imbues Winnow(er) with trans-historical and trans- geographical significance.
Photo: Geert-Jan Van Rooij
Concept and exhibition curation: Amanda Pinatih and Britte Sloothaak, with the help of intern Jasmijn Mol.