‘Follow the Purse’: Onyedika Chuke talks survival, activism & creating new systems in the art world on AQNB’s Artist Statement podcast

, 7 July 2021

“I literally had to figure out a system that was outside of the system in order to survive and then talk about the system,” says Onyedika Chuke, discussing the notion of survival and activism as a conversation. “Once information starts flowing around, and people start asking certain questions, a certain shift in culture starts to happen.” Speaking to editor Steph Kretowicz for AQNB’s latest Artist Statement podcast, the artist and archivist’s largest body of work The Forever Museum Archive is a growing collection of sculptures, text and images analyzing different social, cultural and political structures and their interconnectedness.

The project has been running for a decade, starting as an essay and expanding into multiple forms and exhibitions in a number of locations around the world, including Switzerland, Italy, France and the US. Chuke’s most current exhibition at New York’s LMCC’s The Art Center at Governor’s Island, presented with Pioneer Works, The Forever Museum Archive_Circa 6000BCE explores where patronage, capital and religion intersects with the carceral system.

Born in Onitsha, Nigeria and based in New York, Chuke also runs Storage Projects, an archive and curatorial project aimed at highlighting the work of women artists and artists of color. The endeavour combines his experience as a maker, community member, activist and dealer to find ways to create more equity in the art world.

‘Following the Purse’ is the latest in our Artist Statement podcast series, with past episodes featuring Legacy Russell, Tianzhuo Chen, Dean Erdmann, Terre Thaemlitz, and more. The full episode is accessible to our subscribers right now on Patreon. Sign up now: www.patreon.com/aqnb.**