EAF16 Artist Profile: Onyedika Chuke
Onyedika Chuke’s three-part installation at Socrates Sculpture Park, FMA: The Untitled Circa_2000’s or The Forever Museum Archive/the untitled/a template for memorial architecture, is an extension of the artist’s ongoing project started in 2011 and features large-scale casts of the winged feet of Hermes set in a reflecting pool. Nearby small sculptures made of conch shell rest nestled underneath a modest evergreen tree. Chuke’s Forever Museum Archive began during a visit to Libya, where he observed complex and often multilayered histories reduced to single narratives. In an attempt to reveal deeper themes, his archive aims to trace history through material by indexing more than 300 objects to date.
Referring to the title of his EAF project, Chuke notes that “Circa 2000’s” is a memorandum and marker of an era, namely the onset of the 21st-century. He associates the year 2000 with the dot-com financial bubble and the elections of Vladimir Putin (March) and George W. Bush (December) into office; and he feels that subsequent events like the attacks on September 11, 2001, the 2007 acknowledgment of global warming by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and the impact of major trade agreements (like the contested Trans-pacific Trade Partnership) have changed international politics, warfare and industry forever.
These are just some examples of the events he aims to index through The Forever Museum Archive (2011-Present). Chuke seeks to capture recent history by memorializing and creating templates for architectural landscapes that reflect on the 2000’s era. As such, FMA: The Untitled Circa_2000’s is not a reference to one specific event, but part of a broader global perspective.