Okoyomon, who lived in Lagos, Nigeria, as a child before moving to Texas and then Ohio, added: “I attach myself to materials such as earth, rocks, water and fire because these are things I can’t control on my own.”
As part of the Frieze win, Okoyomon conceived and presented a performance-based installation at the Shed titled “This God Is A Slow Recovery,” which focused on communication or the lack thereof. “It’s about destroying our language, building it up, crashing the words into each other,” Okoyomon said. “How do we create the language to get to the new world?”
This month, Okoyomon won a Chanel Next Prize, a new award from the French fashion brand established to nurture emerging talent, nominated by a group of cultural figures and selected by the jurors Tilda Swinton, David Adjaye and Cao Fei.
In September, the dancer and choreographer Kayla Farrish — teaming up with the jazz, soul, and experimental musician Melanie Charles — transported Maria Hernandez Park in Brooklyn to a vivid scene of grace and power.
The performance — as part of the platform four/four presents, which commissions collaborations among artists — was “sweeping and robust work braiding music and spoken word with choreography” that encompassed the best of technical dance and athletic drills, said Gia Kourlas, the dance critic at The Times.
The result turned its five dancers — Farrish, 30, was joined by Mikaila Ware, Kerime Konur, Gabrielle Loren and Anya Clarke-Verdery — into a vibrant union of musicality, tenderness and power,” Kourlas wrote.