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New Works Initiative

In Progress | Bimbola Akinbola

January 18, 20226:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Advance tickets to join in-person in the MCA’s Edlis Neeson Theater have been claimed. Walk-up tickets are available starting at 5 pm the night of the event on a first-come, first-served basis.

This hybrid event is presented with limited in-person audiences in the Edlis Neeson Theater and virtually on Zoom. RSVP for pre-show reminders.

Person lays sprawled against smudges on a wall

Image courtesy of the artist

About the Event

Interdisciplinary artist and performer, Bimbola Akinbola presents a new iteration of her Evidence series of mixed-media paintings and performances. The series explores her interest in the relationship between the moving body and the medium of painting, particularly in how the liveness of the moving body can be captured in painting. By rolling her face across paper, the artist creates oily strokes and smudges through the combination of mineral oil and makeup. Later, graphite, chalk, and erasers are used to give shape to the images that appear. The works tell stories about the unspoken truths bodies reveal in space centering on shame, alienation, and the lingering nature of our existence.

In Progress is a series designed to give artists, thinkers, and curators a platform for developing new works with input from audiences, and to give patrons a glimpse into the creative process. This program is organized by Laura Paige Kyber, Curatorial Assistant with the Performance and Public Practice team.

About the Artist

Bimbola Akinbola is an interdisciplinary artist and scholar currently based in Chicago. Working at the intersection of theory, performance, and visual art, her scholarly and artistic work is concerned with the complicated and nagging nature of belonging, queerness, and the concept of family. Incorporating a variety of practices ranging from drawing and painting to rubbing her make-up stained skin across surfaces, her work explores mark-making and performance as modes of organization, remembrance, and repair. Bimbola has a BA in American Studies and Studio Art from Macalester College, and a PhD in American Studies from the University of Maryland, College Park. She is an assistant professor of Performance Studies at Northwestern University.


The In Progress series is supported by the New Works Initiative, which puts the creative process at the heart of the MCA’s relationship with Chicago by supporting the development of new performances and creative projects.

Lead support for the New Works Initiative is provided by Elizabeth A. Liebman.