Villa Romana Fellows 2023

Diana Ejaita, Jessica Ekomane, Samuel Kortey Baah und Pınar Öğrenci

Diana Ejaita, Jessica Ekomane, Samuel Kortey Baah, and Pınar Öğrenci are the Villa Romana Fellows 2023. The Villa Romana Fellows 2023 were nominated by Chiara Figone, curator and publisher, and artist Emeka Ogboh.

The Villa Romana Prize has been awarded by the non-profit Villa Romana Association since 1905 and comes with a ten-month residency at the Florentine artists' house, prize money, and a final publication. The collaboration between Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz – Max-Planck-Institut and Villa Romana will continue in its fourth year in 2023.

Diana Ejaita was born in Italy. She studied fine art in France and Germany. Her practice moves across illustration, textile and fashion design. She uses fabric as a medium and as a way to reconnect to her Nigerian heritage. Through textiles, she keeps telling stories of her experience as a child of the diaspora. West African textiles use fabric as a tool to narrate stories, give life advice, and transmit status and information about genealogy. “Garments are an open book; they help people learn and remember” – she says. And she adds: “It’s an unconventional method of communication, one that’s no longer present in European clothes.”

Jessica Ekomane was born in France and lives in Berlin. She creates situations where the sound acts as a transformative element for the space and the audience. Her ever-changing and immersive sonic landscapes are grounded in questions such as the relationship between individual perception and collective dynamics or the investigation of listening expectations and their societal roots.

Samuel Kortey Baah was born in Ghana and lives between Kumasi and Frankfurt. He is currently pursuing his MFA at the Department of Painting and Sculpture KNUST (Kumasi, Ghana) and is an exchange student in Städelschule, Frankfurt. The artist is a member of three collectives, blaxTARLINES, Commune6x3, and a co-founder of the Asafo Black Collective. He finds interest in post-colonial histories, religious iconographies and experiments with organic materials.

Pınar Öğrenci was born in Van (Turkey), and she lives and works in Berlin and Istanbul. She has a background in architecture, which informs her poetic and experiential video-based work and installations that accumulate traces of ‘material culture’ related to forced displacement across geographies. Her works are decolonial and feminist readings from the intersections of social, political and anthropological research, everyday practices, and human stories that follow agents of migration such as war, state violence, collective movements, as well as industrial and urban development projects. Öğrenci’s work relates to Mediterranean culture and its forced travel to the Europe.