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We are delighted to welcome Derica Shields for our last Contemporary Art Lecture of the term.

Featured Media

Wayfinding (installation view)
Wayfinding (installation view), Derica Shields, 2022

Photo: Alejandro Cayetano

Derica Shields is a writer from London. She works across disciplines with a particular focus on Black aesthetics, cultures and epistemologies. Her criticism and essays on visual art have appeared in Art Review, Frieze, Flash Art, and Girls Like Us, and in catalogue and gallery publications. She is a former contributing editor at the New Inquiry and LIES journal, and former Features Editor at Rookie. Derica is the co-founder of the now-defunct screening and discussion series The Future Weird, and the co-teacher, with Fanta Sylla, of Cinema in Black. She has presented film programmes, given talks, lectures and workshops on visual culture at BAM, Light Work, the New School, and Museum of Art and Design in New York; Afrofuturist Affair in Philadelphia; the ICA, Frieze Art Fair, South London Gallery and Somerset House in London; and RCMC and Metro54 in Amsterdam.

Over the past few years, Derica has used commissions from Cell Project Space (2019), Wysing Art Centre (2019), Turf Projects (2021) and Juf, Madrid (2022) to experiment with schematic writing and orality. Her oral history project A Heavy Nonpresence gathers seven Black Londoners’ accounts of the British welfare state and was published by Triple Canopy in 2021. She was a 2022–2023 resident at Jan Van Eyck Academie where she developed 'Given to Cottons and No Silk', a two-channel video installation. In 2023, she gave the second annual Sylvia Wynter Lecture at King’s College London. Her book Bad Practice, which considers the potentials of Black failure, is forthcoming from Book Works.

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