Olukemi Lijadu

Olukemi Lijadu (b. Lagos) is a multidisciplinary artist and DJ. Focusing on moving image and sound, Lijadu uses the power of cinema to take listeners on sonic journeys weaving between cultures and time. Her work explores collective memory across the Atlantic, diasporic music and family history. Lijadu studied Philosophy, focusing on Greek and African philosophical systems, and her work explores the interplay within and between these two worlds. Lijadu’s academic training deeply informs her experimental approach to music and the moving image informed by the Yoruba philosophical principle of complementary dualism – a world sense distinct from the western Aristotelian binary dualism. Through juxtaposing images and sound, she seeks to complicate the ways in which we understand modernity and time. Transforming the scores of her filmic pieces through performance, DJing and composing in real time the sonic landscapes in which the images exist. 

For Lijadu, music and music history are a living archive of communal memory and lost connections – critical given the fractured history of the Black diaspora worldwide. With heritage from Nigeria, the Caribbean and Brazil, the impetus of Lijadu’s artistic practice is both personal and political. She sees her function as an artist as one of reconnection and complication, one that seeks to ask questions that may still be unanswered but at the least further understood.

Lijadu holds a BA in Political Science & Philosophy (2017) and an MA in Philosophy (2018), both from Stanford University.

Exhibitions and screenings include ‘Hauntology: Ghostly Matters’, Mariane Ibrahim, Chicago (2023); ‘FF Projects: Manifold’, Frieze Cork Street, London (2023); ‘Guardian Angel’, V.O Curations, London, UK (2022); ‘ASSEMBLE’, V.O Curations, London (2022); ‘Trading Memories’, MANIFOLD, London (2022); University of Cape Town, Cape Town, (2022); Drawing a Blank x Airtime, Paris (2021); Blackstar Film Festival, Philadelphia (2019).

Performances include ‘Fly in The League of the Night’, DJ Set for Lynette Yiadom-Boakye Opening Party, Tate, London (2022); ‘ALL TRACE IS GONE NO CLAMOUR FOR A KISS’, V.O Curations, London (2022); ‘Live Evil, Arthur Jafa’ (DJ set), Luma Museum, Arles (2022); ‘Image Behaviour’(DJ set), ICA London (2022). 

Lijadu’s debut film/installation/performance Guardian Angel (2022) was commissioned by the ICA London as part of their annual convening, ‘Image Behaviour’. She is currently artist in residence at Villa Albertine, New York (2024).

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