Quijote Talk: Teju Cole and Emmanuel Iduma

Sep 6, 2018, 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

Credit: Emmanuel Iduma's photograph courtesy of himself. Teju Cole's photograph courtesy of Yasmine Omari.

MFA Art Writing presents a conversation between writer, art historian and photographer Teju Cole and writer and department faculty member Emmanuel Iduma (MFA 2015 Art Criticism and Writing) about looking, writing and breaking form.

"The one who wrote hundreds of pages without knowing what to write. Or knowing what to write but not how to write it. As though everything written had not been written but instead pulled out of the depths. 

Torrential thirst. The cistern depleted. The bucket ascends slowly, setting the darkness echoing." — Teju Cole.

"Some days are good, some aren’t. On good days I write an average of hundred words an hour, and my staying power is shy of three hours. Three hundred words on the most promising day. Small by small. Medium might be message, but medium is unsparing. When the going is good I feel like I am descending. No, that’s the wrong image. While the hours accumulate I do not feel I have taken leave of the world, and so it isn’t descent but immersion. My room takes on the character of a baptismal font." — Emmanuel Iduma.

Born in 1975, Teju Cole is a writer, art historian and photographer. He is the photography critic for The New York Times Magazine and the author of four books, each in a different genre, including Known and Strange Things (2016), a collection of essays on art, literature, photography and politics. He is a recipient of the PEN/Hemingway Award, the Windham Campbell Prize and the Internationaler Literaturpreis, among other honors. His most recent publication, Blind Spot, a book of photographs and texts, was shortlisted for the Aperture/Paris Photobook Award, and his solo multimedia performance piece, "Black Paper," was featured at the 2017 Performa Biennial. He lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.  

Emmanuel Iduma is a writer of fiction and nonfiction. Born and raised in Nigeria, his essays and stories appear frequently in journals, magazines, artists’ books and exhibition catalogues. He is the author of The Sound of Things to Come (first published as Farad in Nigeria), and received a 2017 Creative Capital/Warhol Foundation grant in arts writing for his profile of Nigerian artists. He holds an MFA in Art Criticism and Writing from the School of Visual Arts, New York, where he now teaches. In 2017, he was associate curator of the Nigerian pavilion at the Venice Biennale. He is editor of Saraba Magazine, which he co-founded. His second book, A Stranger’s Pose, an innovative mix of memoir, travelogue and photography, will be published by Cassava Republic Press in October 2018, with a foreword by Teju Cole.

Free and open to the public