yétúndé ọlágbajú’s solo exhibition HORIZON/you hold my shape
connects Yoruba creation myth to family and self memory
On view July 31–August 21, 2022
Opening reception July 30, 7–9 PM
June 29, 2022, San Francisco, CA–Oakland-based artist, maker, strategist, and organizer yétúndé ọlágbajú is partnering with SOMArts Cultural Center to bring to life one of their most ambitious visions: a solo show that reinterprets the Yoruba genesis myth of the Golden Chain, connecting it to their family stories, memories, hopes, and dreams.
HORIZON/you hold my shape is the first iteration of a large-scale video installation, performance, and sculpture series, as conceived by yétúndé ọlágbajú. On view at SOMArts July 31–August 21, this exhibition features beautifully vignetted videos, Black devotion, and ritual movement. In this in-between space of longing, Black creation, pleasure, and improvisation are woven together into an intergenerational narrative unbound by time or geography.
This exhibition includes family photographs and written words by the artist’s parents. ọlágbajú’s father is from Ilé-Ifẹ̀ where, according to Yoruba tradition, a Golden Chain was said to have dropped, leading to the creation of humans. By paralleling this Yoruba creation myth with their own family and self memory, the hopes and dreams of their parents, and their artistic practice, HORIZON/you hold my shape finds agency in creation and proclaims how, despite the world continuously attempting to break us, we will always find and see ourselves in each other.
yétúndé uses 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. Having exhibited and curated at SOMArts Cultural Center at various points throughout their artistic career, they seek to generate spaces of authenticity, healing, and freedom for themself and other Black, queer, and trans* people.
HORIZON/you hold my shape opens with a free, all-ages reception on Saturday, July 30, 7–9 PM PST and features a performance by yétúndé ọlágbajú alongside Jacqueline Copeland (mother of the artist), Breonna Carter, Eli Meza, Titania Kumah, Avé-Ameenah Long, and Nana Boateng.