Past Talks & More | Artist Talks

Torkwase Dyson in Conversation

with Ann Hamilton and Sandhya Kochar


Don’t miss this engaging Diversities in Practice talk featuring Wexner Center Artist Residency Award Recipient Torkwase Dyson, whose work is currently on view in Climate Changing: On Artists, Institutions, and the Social Environment.

Dyson will be joined by Ohio State Department of Art Distinguished Professor Ann Hamilton and Knowlton School Senior Lecturer Sandhya Kochar for a conversation on Dyson’s process, the themes and inquiries at stake in her work, and the broader implications of these questions in our contemporary social climate. Dyson’s practice raises pressing issues regarding the environment and ecosystems, architecture and infrastructure, and various systems of power—bringing them all into conversation with meditations on the interiority, agency, and genius of Black and brown people’s spatial practices.

The trio will discuss Dyson’s formal vocabulary, the artistic and philosophical traditions embodied in her practice, and her new, Wex-commissioned work Bird and Lava, featured in Climate Changing, that she conceived of while working during the pandemic. Together, Dyson, Kochar, and Hamilton will also explore questions surrounding movement, subjectivity, improvisation, precarity, and indeterminacy, among other topics—conditions the artist continues to work with and through.

"Precarity is the condition of being vulnerable to others. Unpredictable encounters transform us; we are not in control, even of ourselves.….But thinking through precarity makes it evident that indeterminacy also makes life possible."
Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing, "The Mushroom at the End of the World"

More about the series

Diversities in Practice is a collaboration between Ohio State’s Wexner Center for the Arts, Department of Art, and Living Culture Initiative. This series includes talks and moderated discussions featuring a range of artists, thinkers, and practitioners engaged in compelling and critical work, centering projects ​that examine, shape, and push both material and ideological boundaries. This season we are happy to present Jonathan Berger, Torkwase Dyson, Cauleen Smith, Carolyn Lazard, Constantina Zavitsanos, and other artists who ​offer new insights and challenge our assumptions on issues of accessibility discrimination, race-based displacement, capitalism, labor, and systems of authority and authenticity. These presentations will be available online throughout 2020–21. ​Also available online are talks from 2020 with Christine Sun Kim, Stephanie Syjuco, Tomashi Jackson, Earlonne Woods, and Nigel Poor. Watch this website for updates and details.

Image of Ann Hamilton standing in front of a gray background

Ann Hamilton, photo: Calista Lyon 

Image of Torkwase Dyson

Torkwase Dyson, photo: Gabe Souza, © Torkwase Dyson

Image of Sandhya Kochar wearing eyeglasses and standing in front of a yellow background

Sandhya Kochar, image courtesy of Sandhya Kochar

More about the speakers

Torkwase Dyson chevron-down chevron-up

The Wexner Center’s 2020–21 Artist Residency Award recipient in visual arts, Dyson describes herself as a painter working across multiple mediums to explore the continuity between ecology, infrastructure, and architecture. Examining environmental racism as well as the history and future of Black spatial liberation strategies, Dyson’s abstract works grapple with the ways space is perceived and negotiated, particularly by Black and brown bodies. In 2019, Dyson’s solo exhibition I Can Drink the Distance was on view at The Cooper Union, New York, and her work was also presented at the Sharjah Biennial.

In addition to participating in group exhibitions at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art, Washington, DC; the Whitney Museum of American Art and The Museum of Modern Art in New York; and the California African American Museum, Los Angeles, Dyson has had solo exhibitions and installations at Colby College Museum of Art, Waterville, Maine; Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, Chicago; Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education, Philadelphia; and Suzanne Lemberg Usdan Gallery, Bennington College, Vermont. Read more

Ann Hamilton chevron-down chevron-up

Hamilton is a visual artist internationally recognized for her large-scale multimedia installations, public projects, and performance collaborations. Responsive to the contingencies of the sites where she works, her recurring forms—cloth, texts spoken and written, animals, and people suspended or in motion—immerse viewers in an atmosphere both visceral and literary, individual and collective, animate and inanimate, silent and spoken.

Born in Lima, Ohio, in 1956, Hamilton received a BFA in textile design from the University of Kansas in 1979 and an MFA in sculpture from the Yale School of Art in 1985. From 1985 to 1991, she taught on the faculty of the University of California at Santa Barbara. Hamilton has served on Ohio State’s faculty since 2001, where she is a Distinguished University Professor in the Department of Art. Among her many honors, Hamilton has been the recipient of the National Medal of the Arts, MacArthur Fellowship, United States Artists Fellowship, NEA Visual Arts Fellowship, and the Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship. Read more.

Sandhya Kochar chevron-down chevron-up

Kochar teaches graduate and undergraduate courses on architecture in Ohio State’s Knowlton School. Since 2015 she has served as the director of the Architecture Honors Program and the chair of the school’s Banvard Gallery, where she has curated and designed several exhibits.

Kochar is the principal founder of A Studio, which has exhibited in multiple venues including CBUS Ideabook at The Center for Architecture and Design (Columbus), Otterbein University, The Ohio Art League Juried Competition, and University of Cincinnati’s College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning. She has also worked in various offices in the US and India on the completion of several international projects and, with Inform Architects, has completed multiple award-winning projects in India. Read more.

Cosponsored by Ohio State’s Wexner Center for the Arts, Department of Art, Living Culture Initiative, and Knowlton School.

American Electric Power Foundation

Ingram-White Castle Foundation
State Farm
Martha Holden Jennings Foundation
PNC Foundation
Chalmers P. Wylie VA Ambulatory Care Center
Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation

Greater Columbus Arts Council
Mary and C. Robert Kidder
L Brands Foundation
American Electric Power Foundation
The Columbus Foundation
Ohio Arts Council
Bill and Sheila Lambert
Institute of Museum and Library Services
Nationwide Foundation
Adam R. Flatto
Vorys, Sater, Seymour, and Pease
Arlene and Michael Weiss

Carol and David Aronowitz
Michael and Paige Crane
Axium Plastics
Fenwick & West LLP
Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams
M/I Homes
Ohio State Energy Partners
Washington Prime Group
Lisa Barton
Russell and Joyce Gertmenian
Liza Kessler and Greg Henchel
Nancy Kramer
Matrix Psychological Services
Paramount Group, Inc.
Bruce and Joy Soll
Business Furniture Installations
E.C. Provini Co, Inc.
New England Development
Our Country Home


Past Talks & More

Torkwase Dyson in Conversation