We were pleased to present a conversation held on occasion of Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum's first solo exhibition in New York, I have withheld much more than I have written. The artist was in conversation with Tao Leigh Goffe as they discuss Sunstrum's practice and new works on view, including a large installation and a suite of paintings.
About the speakers
The imagery in Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum’s work reflect the diverse genealogies of her experience living in different parts of Africa, Southeast Asia, and the U.S. as well as ongoing research of ethnography, ecology, and quantum physics. The artist’s boundary-crossing practice centers Black female identity in the discourse of postcolonialism and neocolonialism, highlighting the contributions of overlooked historical figures while emphasizing modes of knowledge and communication beyond the status quo.
In 2023, the artist will show a newly commissioned solo project at The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery in Toronto and participate in the 15th Sharjah Art Biennale (SB15).
Key exhibitions and performances include: Greater Toronto Art 2021 (GTA21), MOCA Toronto, Canada (2021); Born in Flames: Feminist Futures, The Bronx Museum of the Arts, New York City (2021); WITNESS: Afro Perspectives from the Jorge M. Pérez Collection, El Espacio 23, Miami, Florida (2021); Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum: All my seven faces, Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, Ohio (2019); Zeitz MOCAA, Cape Town, South Africa (2019); The Wiels, Brussels, Belgium (2019); Kunsthaus Zürich (2019); The Nest, The Hague (2019); Michaelis School for the Arts at the University of Cape Town (2018); Artpace, San Antonio, Texas (2018); The Phillips Museum of Arts, Lancaster (2018); Interlochen Centre for the Arts, Interlochen (2016); NMMU Bird Street Art Gallery, Port Elizabeth (2016); Tiwani Contemporary, London (2016); VANSA, Johannesburg (2015); Brundyn Gallery, Cape Town (2014); FRAC Pays de Loire, France (2013); the Havana Biennial (2012); and MoCADA, New York City (2011).
Sunstrum was born in Mochudi, Botswana, in 1980 and now lives and works in Ottawa, Canada. The artist is represented by Goodman Gallery, Cape Town, Johannesburg, and London.
Tao Leigh Goffe is an award-winning writer and DJ specializing in the origin stories that emerge from histories of race, empire, climate, and technology. Her story was featured as an experimental short film on Hulu’s Initiative 29 that celebrates Black history, heroes, and futurism. Writing recipes, curating exhibitions, and producing mixed media art, she explores the full range of the human sensorium in her artistic practice.
She was born in London, United Kingdom and lives and works in Manhattan. She studied English at Princeton University before earning her PhD from Yale University. Dr. Goffe is an assistant professor of literary theory and cultural history at Cornell University. Her research is rooted in literature and theories of labor that center Black feminism’s engagements with Indigeneity and Asian diasporic racial formations.
Dr. Goffe is the founding director of the Dark Laboratory, a collective on race and ecology where members develop stories using creative technology (VR, AR, XR, DJ’ing, film, screenwriting). Dr. Goffe is also the Executive Director of the Afro-Asia Group, an advisory organization with the mission of creating spaces of collaboration between African and Asian diasporas on futurity, solidarity, and infrastructure.