The end of Monilola Ilupeju’s residency at Cashmere Radio culminates in a special extended reading of her book Earnestly, featuring musical interludes from Alice Z Jones.
In honest, crystallising language, Ilupeju reckons with her changing Body and the afterlife of trauma within the tangle of race relations, sexual politics, and family history. Earnestly collages texts from the artist’s transdisciplinary practice, modeling different lenses through which to navigate the social and emotional dimensions of Body dysmorphia, girlhood, and longing. Across all, Ilupeju celebrates embodied writing for its self-transformative power and for the gentle revelations made possible through its sharing. She welcomes the reader into her world and her Body as she attempts to escape what she terms ‘the house of hard distorting mirrors’ and move towards joy, presence, and connection. Along this journey, she finds a way into self-recognition that is prismatic—multivalent and refracting.
Monilola Olayemi Ilupeju is a Nigerian-American artist and writer based in Berlin and New York. Her transdisciplinary practice confronts the distortions of oppressive structures, while offering avenues toward collective and embodied healing. As she works through intimate subject matter, she also interrogates the broader, political contexts in which these issues and observations. Ilupeju graduated with distinction from New York University, where she studied studio art and social and cultural analysis. She is also an alumna of the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. She has done curatorial and editorial work with SAVVY Contemporary and Archive Books, among others.