Abigail Celis and Cosmo Whyte

Scholar (Contemporary Francophone Literature and Sub-Saharan Art) & Curator, US and Artist, Jamaica/US

  • Abigail E. Celis +

    Scholar (Contemporary Francophone Literature and Sub-Saharan Art) and Curator, US

    Abigail E. Celis is a scholar and curator whose work explores the crossovers between literary, critical and visual practices. Her areas of expertise include contemporary Francophone literature and art from Africa south of the Sahara, migration studies, and creative expression of the Black diaspora. Abigail has been named a Ford Foundation Fellow (2017) and a Lurcy Fellow (2016), among other awards. Her writing has appeared in venues such as African Arts, French Forum, African Studies Review, ARC Magazine and Afrikadaa. She will begin an appointment as Assistant Professor of French & Francophone Studies and African Studies at Pennsylvania State University in January 2019.

  • Cosmo Whyte +

    Artist, Jamaica/US

    Cosmo Whyte is a Jamaican-born artist and current Department Chair of Fine Arts at Morehouse College. A trans-disciplinary artist, Cosmo employs drawing, performance, and sculpture to create conceptual work that explores how notions of identity are disrupted by migration—migration as an unfinished arc of motion whose final resting point remains an open-ended question. He situates his work in the liminal space between early culture shock and final acclimatization. He has exhibited in museums, biennales, and galleries all over the world. He has won numerous prizes including the Forward Art emerging artist of the year award (2010); an Artadia Award (2016); and a Hudgens Prize Finalist (2017).

    Learn more: www.cosmowhyte.com 

The Catalogue of Speculative Translations

The Catalogue of Speculative Translations uses the creative properties of translation to engage with the histories of colonial African art objects on display in French museums. This project began in 2016, when the duo created original visual compositions based on text labels collected at three French museums. Their compositions depict an alternative present for the objects on display. During the Camargo residency, Abigail and Cosmo researched Marseille’s Musée des arts africains, océaniens, et amérindiens in order to create the next phase of the Catalogue, consisting of new visual compositions and a sound installation.