The Weitzman School has appointed artist Every Ocean Hughes the Keith L. and Katherine S. Sachs Visiting Professor in the Department of Fine Arts for the 2021–2022 Academic Year.
“Our students have gotten to know a dazzling array of artists since we hosted the inaugural Sachs Visiting Professor back in 2016,” said Fritz Steiner, dean and Paley Professor at the Weitzman School. “We’re delighted for Every to join the Penn community.”
Every Ocean Hughes (EOH), formerly known as Emily Roysdon, is based in Stockholm, where she was professor of art at Konstfack University College of Arts, Craft, and Design from 2013-2021. Her work has included performance, photography, video, printmaking, and site-specific installations. Beyond these media, her expansive output has also included curating exhibitions, as well as such projects as designing costumes for the band Le Tigre and a collaborative performance with the singer/songwriter Colin Self. Written text has also been a core part of EOH’s practice and she was a founding member of the queer feminist journal and artist collective LTTR.
In many of her works, EOH mines the history of 20th-century avant-garde activities that took place in both institutional and public spaces. In particular, she is drawn to the ephemeral history of queer activists and artists. Another ongoing concern is the recognition of the complexities of identity, which often manifests in works that explore the intersection of physical movement and political action.
“For the recent four years, I have been researching in a field I call queer death, addressing questions of self-determination, mutual aid, survival, diverse kinship, and accountability. In these times of pandemic, uprisings, and deep conflict, I find this work even more engaging and relevant,” said EOH.
“Every Ocean Hughes is centrally concerned with affectivity in all its valences. Through her art and writing, she seeks to disrupt discursive regimes wherever and whenever they appear. Her work challenges the idea that lived experience can be reduced to codified systems or articulable forms. Her work appears in the gaps within and between rules,” said Ken Lum, Marilyn Jordan Taylor Presidential Professor and chair of fine arts at Penn.
At Penn, EOH will be engaged with graduate students in the Department of Fine Arts. In the spring of 2022, she will give a public lecture and lead a seminar that culminates in a student-immersive trip.
EOH is represented in Witch Hunt, an international group exhibition on view at the Hammer Museum and Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, through January 9, 2022, and over the coming two years will be included in exhibitions at Studio Voltaire, London, and Moderna Museet, Stockholm. Her work has been included in numerous exhibitions internationally, including recent exhibitions at the Institute of Contemporary Art, London; Tate Modern, London; and KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin.
EOH holds a Bachelor of Arts from Hampshire College and a Master of Fine Arts from the University of California, Los Angeles. She also attended the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program and, in 2019–2020, was a fellow at Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University.
The Sachs Visiting Professorship has been previously held by Ernesto Pujol, who labels himself a “social choreographer;” Mary Reid Kelley and Patrick Kelley, video-based collaborators who script works performed on elaborate sets of their own creation; Ralph Lemon, a choreographer, writer, visual artist, and curator; Josiah McElheny, a sculptor, performance artist, writer and filmmaker best known for his use of glass with other materials; and alum Wael Shawky (MFA‘01), whose work tackles notions of national, religious and artistic identity through film, performance, and storytelling.