THE Africa Institutea research institute in Sharjah that facilitates the study of Africa and its diaspora, is the latest space to cut ties with the architect David Adjayewho was accused of sexual misconduct by three women in a FinancialTimes report last week.
In addition to maintaining a faculty and hosting students, the Africa Institute is well known in the art world for mounting exhibitions on African artists. His exhibitions have been presented at the Sharjah Art Foundation and the Serpentine Galleries in London.
THE FinancialTimes report presented allegations of assault and harassment by three former employees of his company, Adjaye Associates. Adjaye denied the allegations, stating, “These allegations are false, distressing to me and my family and go against everything I stand for.”
Adjaye Associates had been selected to design the Africa Institute campus, which was to span over 343,000 square feet and consist of a reddish structure that would rise in several sections over seven stories. Artists were to be tasked with producing site-specific works that would feature on campus, which would also include several courses.
“The Africa Institute is deeply troubled by the recently reported allegations regarding David Adjaye, and we have made the decision to cancel the construction project with Adjaye Associates,” said Hoor Al Qasimi, president of the Africa Institute, in a statement. communicated.
She continued, “Our decision will not impact our strong research and teaching programs at the Institute’s current facilities. The Africa Institute remains more committed than ever to our Scholars, faculty and staff, and to our mission to nurture a new generation of critical thinkers in Africa and African Diaspora Studies, serving as a model for excellence in research, teaching and documentation. ”
ART news has contacted Adjaye Associates for comment.
The Africa Institute is not the only institution to have terminated its relationship with Adjaye Associates following the FinancialTimes report. The Studio Museum in Harlem ended its relationship with Adjaye, whose firm had been hired to design a new home for the New York institution. Adjaye said “the prospect of the charges against me tarnishing the museum and creating a distraction is too much to bear.” Meanwhile, Adjaye resigned from work on a Holocaust memorial for London.
Meanwhile, the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum in Lincoln, Massachusetts, has suspended the showing of one of Adjaye’s large-scale sculptures indefinitely.
But none of these projects have been as grand, both in scale and ambition, as that of the Africa Institute, news of which was first announced three years ago.
Adjaye Associates’ work can be seen in venues ranging from the Museum of Modern Art to the Venice Architecture Biennale. The company is also to design the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art in Delhi and the Princeton University Art Museum in New Jersey.