Arit Emmanuela Etukudo is a Nigerian-American self-portrait artist whose practice focuses on the simultaneous invisibility and hypervisibility of the self, body and existence. She earned her BA in Cinematic Arts and minor in Creative Writing from University of Maryland Baltimore County in 2016. She then earned her MFA in Fine Art from Nottingham Trent University in 2019. During her MFA study she took an Erasmus at École Supérieure des Beaux-arts to expand her research. Her work has earned her achievements such as the 2019 NAE Future Exhibition Prize, the 2017 Indie Capitol Award for Best Experimental/Animated film, and the 2016 UMBC Senior Exhibition prize for Outstanding Work in Cinematic Arts.
As an experimental storyteller, Arit Emmanuela Etukudo recreates the relationship between her body’s physical movements in the world and its incorporeal movements as a result of that. In her work, her body is not limited by form, space or time; but instead manifests itself beyond what is immediately perceptible. The deconstruction of the known world and the act of her identity being the holder of dimension challenges the modern constructs of how the black body is allowed to exist. This inserts the narrative of Afrofuturism, as a source of black radical imagination and Afrofrequency, the root of the black magical experience. Her work acts as a source of emancipation from systems that attempt to limit her existence. Inspired by creators like Zanele Muholi, Frida Kahlo, Bill Viola and Athi-Patra Ruga; Etukudo creates work that uses the body as language.
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