, a Visiting Professor in the Department of Visual and Performing Arts, was the winner of the BMW Art Journey
prize. An international jury selected Cyrus unanimously from a shortlist of three artists whose works were exhibited in the Positions sector at last year's Art Basel show in Miami Beach.
The three short-listed artists were invited to submit a proposal for a journey that would allow them to do research to deepen their artistic practice. Cyrus' proposal focused on the concept of the "Afro-Atlantic" which in his own words is "an intercontinental and multinational geography describing the circulation of ideas between Africa, Europe, and the Americas." Inspired in part by Paul Gilroy's writings from the early 1990s, Cyrus aims to examine the many diverse cultural hybrids that have emerged through protracted interaction between the continents. Such cultural hybrids - molded by forces of conquest, colonization, slavery, industry, migration, and philosophy - can be apprehended in the cultural centers Cyrus plans to visit. These include among others the Elmina Castle in Accra, Ghana; the Theatre Champs-Elysees in Paris, France; Brixton's Electric Avenue in London, England; the Alhambra in Granada, Spain; and Congo Square in New Orleans, United States.
At each location, Cyrus will record interviews with artists, musicians, historians, and philosophers who engage with the creative traditions of the Afro-Atlantic.
"The journey promises to be a transformational process involving travel, dialogue, collective imagination, and intuitive response that will allow new ideas to surface in my work," said Cyrus.