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The Forever Museum Archive: Circa 2020_An Object 

Onyedika Chuke and Assembly

Due to the process-based nature of the Session program, this project will undergo constant modifications; the features of this page provide accruing information on the project’s developments.

On View

July 18 - August 16, 2024

Drop-in Hours

Thursdays-Saturdays, 12-5 pm

Artist and archivist Onyedika Chuke conceives of The Forever Museum Archive: Circa 2020_An Object as a series of events, political polls, and artistic gestures chronicling events of 2020 in hindsight, particularly as we enter into this frenzied election season. The project is a continuation of Chuke’s ongoing project known as The Forever Museum Archive (2011-present), in which he assumes the role of an archivist and fabricator working under the aegis of an extensive collection of text and objects. Unquantifiable and non-linear in its musings, this archive seeks to create points of comparison between time periods. Circa 2020_An Object extends The Forever Museum Archive in its analysis of Western power, religion, and spirituality.

This iteration of The Forever Museum Archive will develop as part of Recess’s new Session X Assembly partnership, which brings together Recess’s Session artists and its Assembly program for systems-impacted youth. Chuke will spend two months as a teaching artist, forming relationships with a cohort of Assembly fellows to collaboratively build out the Session installation and related programming. Over the course of the Session, Chuke will lead workshops and polling opportunities that assess 2020’s effect on the contemporary trajectory of racism, power, public health, and other sociopolitical dynamics—all grounded in the project’s central question: Has anything changed since 2020, and what do we believe has changed?  In these polling workshops Chuke and the Assembly fellows seek to develop a methodology for chronicling the past based on shared analysis, community and group inquiry. In addition to polling, fabrication, and workshops, the artists will visit several offsite archives and production spaces to supplement their research. 

Initially the Session space will operate as an archival storage room for a project previously housed at LMCC Art Center, The Forever Museum Circa 3000BCE. This sampling of objects focuses on the War on Drugs Era while drawing a correlation between Roman power symbols, the penal system, and Christianity. As the Session progresses, the space will house both artifacts and new sculptures in-progress representing the artists’ findings on 2020. At the project’s conclusion, the public will be invited to view these sculptures envisioned and created by Chuke and the Assembly fellows. 

The Forever Museum Archive: Circa 2020_An Object will be accompanied by a series of public programming to be announced at a later date. 

About the artist

Onyedika Chuke


Onyedika Chuke. Photo by Sam Chun.
Onyedika Chuke. Photo by Sam Chun.

Onyedika Chuke is an artist and archivist living and working in New York. His largest body of work titled The Forever Museum Archive (2011-present), is a disquieting collection of sculptures, text and images in which Chuke analyzes social, cultural and political structures. His practice has been supported by venues such as The Drawing Center, SCAD Museum, The Shed, Sculpture Center and The American Academy in Rome, Lower Manhattan Cultural Center (LMCC) Art Center on Governors Island, and Pioneer Works.

From January 2018-2019, Chuke served as New York City Public Artist in Residence (P.A.I.R). The position placed him in the offices of the Department of Cultural Affairs (DCLA) and Department of Corrections (DOC) Rikers Island. His work as a P.A.I.R artist entailed collaboration with individuals on Rikers Island facing extreme challenges, creating access to art and open dialogue between New York City policymakers and those in their custody. In addition, he utilized DOC’s archives to research architecture and historical landscape that have shaped New York City's penological system. His ongoing research was covered by various publications including Art Papers and Bomb Magazine.

With a focus on social theory, drawing, painting, and photography as well as sculptural mold-making, Chuke is equally invested in the processes of production and research. He is a graduate of The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art (2011).

Artist Website




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Founded in 2016, Assembly offers system-impacted young people aged 18-26 an inroad to art and connections to working artists, while serving as an alternative to incarceration and its intersecting systems of oppression. The curriculum empowers young people to take charge of their own life story and envision a future through art. The program diverts both misdemeanor and felony charges and in 2020 expanded to include a peer-to-peer referral model, allowing us to broaden our reach.



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