joy that’s a circle no. 1
February 2–March 21, 2021
Premiere Jr. opens the new year with a work by artist Yétundé Olagbaju, drawn from a series of journal entries created in 2017, when they were exploring notions of birthright, lineage and inheritance. The images—a carved statue and a branch of blossoms—come from books given to Olagbaju by their mother and form an echo across the pages.
“The questions I pose while looking at these two images are significant as well,” Olagbaju writes, “they ask the viewer (especially Black folks like me) to consider where they inherited their joy from (not just our trauma) and how that joy might be cyclical in their lineage.”
Yétundé Olagbaju is an artist and maker currently residing in Oakland, California. They utilize video, sculpture, action, gesture and performance as through-lines for inquiries regarding Black labor, legacy and processes of healing. They are rooted in the need to understand history, the people that made it, the myths surrounding them and how their own body is implicated in history’s timeline.
They have shown work and projects with Oakland Museum of California, Portland Institute of Contemporary Art, Pt. 2 Gallery, Southern Exposure, SOMArts Cultural Center, Untitled Art Fair, Art Basel, and more. They hold an MFA from Mills College and are the recipient of the inaugural Nancy Cook Fellowship, the Murphy Cadogan Award, and the Jay DeFeo Award. They are currently in residence at Headlands Center for the Arts.