b. 1970, St. Louis
Wura-Natasha Ogunji received a BA in anthropology from Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA, in 1992 and a MFA in photography from San Jose State University, CA, in 1998. She currently lives and works in Austin, TX.
A performance and visual artist who works in a variety of mediums, Ogunji is perhaps best know for her videos, in which she uses her own body to explore movement and mark-making. In a recent work considering ideas of crossings and journeys, the artist bounds toward the viewer in a series of distinctive jerking motions reminiscent of stop-motion animation, her feet never seeming to touch the ground. This editing style is a reoccurring motif in her work, as are the stripes of a Nigerian Ife artifact painted on her face. Her works on paper present simplified, linear representations of human figures in movement executed in thread on spare, colored backgrounds.
Ogunji has received a number of awards, including a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship (2012) and grants from the Idea Fund, Houston (2010), and the Pollock-Krasner Foundation (2005). She has completed residencies at Can Serrat, Spain (2007), and Altos de Chavon, Dominican Republic (2005), and her work has been in exhibitions such as Négritude, Exit Art, New York (2009); Screwed Anthologies, labotanica, Houston (2009); and New American Talent: The Twenty-First Exhibition, Arthouse at the Jones Center, Austin (2006). Her performance works include Will I still carry water when I am a dead woman?, Lagos (2011); and one hundred black women, one hundred actions, Fusebox Festival, Austin (2010).