Nolan Oswald Dennis is a para-disciplinary artist based in Johannesburg, South Africa. Their practice primarily explores ‘a black consciousness of space’ focusing on the material and metaphysical conditions of decolonisation whilst questioning histories of space and time through system-specific, rather than site-specific interventions. Nolan, whose residency starts this week, is supported by Goodman Gallery through our Fellowship Platinum Partner donor package. They are Goodman Gallery's inaugural Artist in Residence at G.A.S. and will be returning to Nigeria later this year to participate in the Lagos Biennial.
What is the current focus of your practice?
My current practice explores system building within the context of art and science and African liberation history. I'm also investigating the possibilities of immaterial and imaginary institutions, technology, and infrastructures alongside theories of time and time travel.
No Conciliations Possible (2021). Photo: Anders Sune Berg
What drew you to apply for this residency and how do you think it will inform your wider practice?
I was excited about the possibility of this residency because of my participation in the forthcoming Lagos Biennial and my existing interest in Nigerian modernist art and writers. I am very inspired by the artistic thought and reimagining (reengineering) of contemporary art practice and theory in the post-colonial period in Nigeria. As a South Africa based artist practising in a post-apartheid context, I feel there is a lot to learn and emulate from this period and I hope this residency will help me expand the depth of my understanding.
Can you give us an insight into how you hope to use the opportunity?
I want to use my time in Lagos to build and grow my network of Nigerian practitioners and I have also already planned visits to several museums and institutions. This research will run in tandem with planning and preparation for the Lagos Biennial and the exploration of potential collaborations.
A Garden for Fanon (2021). Image courtesy of Goodman Gallery
Nolan Oswald Dennis is a para-disciplinary artist. Their practice explores ‘a black consciousness of space’ - the material and metaphysical conditions of decolonisation - questioning histories of space and time through system-specific, rather than site-specific interventions. They hold a Bachelor's degree in Architecture from the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) and a Science Master’s degree in Art, Culture and Technology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
Their work has been featured in exhibitions at the Goodman Gallery (Johannesburg, Cape Town, London), Palais de Tokyo (Paris), MACBA (Barcelona), AutoItalia SouthEast (London), CAN (Neuchatel), the Young Congo Biennale (Kinshasa) among others. They are a founding member of artist groups NTU and the Index Literacy Program, as well as a research associate at the VIAD research centre at the University of Johannesburg.