Black Venus
Curator & Artists Talk
In-Person at MoAD
Apr 6, 2023
6:30 pm
8:00 pm
Free with Museum Admission
Not a member? Join now


BLACK VENUS, curated by Aindrea Emelife is an exhibition that surveys the legacy of Black Women in visual culture - from fetishized, colonial-era caricatures to the present-day reclamation of the rich complexity of Black womanhood by 18 artists (of numerous nationalities and with birth years spanning 1942 to 1997). This exhibition is a celebration of Black beauty, an investigation into the many faces of Black femininity and the shaping of Black women in the public consciousness - then and now.

Join us for a conversation about Black Venus with curator Aindrea Emelife and artists Carla Williams and yétúndé olagbaju.

This program is in-person at MoAD, masks are required throughout the museum.

If you are unable to join us in person, we will be livestreaming the program on MoAD's YouTube page.

Carla Williams is an independent photography historian, editor, writer, and photographer. She is author of numerous essays and articles about photography and culture and is co-author of two histories of photography. Williams is also the founder and owner of House of Black Style, the only vintage store that exclusively features fashion and accessories by Black designers from the 1940s to the present. She was previously the proprietor of Material Life—a first-of-its-kind retail concept shop which operated in NewOrleans from 2015 to 2019—dedicated to gathering, promoting, archiving, and making accessible the complexity of Black life and history with a particular emphasis on African American history.

yétúndé olagbaju (b. 1990) is an artist, educator, and residency director based in Los Angeles, CA. They utilize video, sculpture, photography, and performance as through-lines for inquiries regarding labor, legacy, memory, and processes of healing. They have exhibited work and developed projects with the Oakland Museum of California [Oakland, CA], Museum of the African Diaspora [San Francisco, CA], the Contemporary Jewish Museum [San Francisco, CA], MARS Gallery [Windsor, Australia], SOMArts Cultural Center [San Francisco, CA], Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive [Berkeley, CA], and Museum of Sonoma County [Sonoma, CA]. They hold an MFA from Mills College and are the recipient of multiple awards including the Svane Foundation award and a Headlands Center for the Arts Fellowship. They were a recent award finalist with ART X Prize, organized by ART X Lagos and is a member/co-founder of multiple Black and Brown organizing and art focused artist/ worker-led collectives. They will be a resident at Center for Afrofuturist Studies [Iowa City, IA] & AADK Spain [Murcia, Spain] in 2023.

Aindrea Emelife is a curator and art historian specialising in modern and contemporary art, with a focus on questions around colonial and decolonial histories in Africa, transnationalism and the politics of representation. She is currently Curator at Large, Modern and Contemporary at EMOWAA (Edo Museum of West African Art). Born in London, United Kingdom, Emelife studied at The Courtauld Institute of Art before embarking on a multifaceted career as a curator and art historian, producing highly acclaimed exhibitions for museum, galleries and private collections internationally. Recent exhibitions include BLACK VENUS; a survey of the legacy of the Black woman in visual culture which opened at Fotografiska NY and will tour to MOAD (San Francisco, USA) and Somerset House (London, UK) in 2023. Emelife’s first book, A Brief History of Protest Art was released by Tate in March 2022, Emelife has contributed to exhibition catalogues and publications, most recently including Revising Modern British Art (Lund Humphries, 2022) In 2021, Emelife was appointed to the Mayor of London’s Commission for Diversity in the Public Realm.

This program is presented in conjunction with our current exhibition Black Venus, on view April 5 - August 20, 2023.

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