Curated Projects

2019      2018      2017      2016

This is Lagos
Sponsored by The SAGE Innovation Centre

This project showcases emerging photographers whose work documents the built environment in Lagos, including buildings under construction and those symptomatic of the deterioration and neglect of existing infrastructure, the latter seemingly standing in for times past. Together, the works reveal a few of the infinite number of perspectives from which Lagos can be represented, and the many areas threatened by the city’s environmental challenges. Through augmented reality, some of these photographs will be “consumed” by elements that represent a few of the ways in which the environment is currently at risk.

This is Lagos responds to Falz’s ‘This is Nigeria’, and in turn Childish Gambino’s ‘This is America’. Shifting from their emphasis on people, this project presents the environment as a shared space. The aim is to highlight everyday choices which affect the condition of Lagos. Additionally, the project seeks to stimulate conversations about decisions made today that will affect our shared tomorrows. The featured photographers include Amanda Iheme, Nyancho Nwanri and Ifebusola Shotunde.

Lagos: 20Hz – 20kHz

Artist Emeka Ogboh has conceived a new commission, a work of sound art, that combines music with field recordings of the city of Lagos. With this project, the artist continues to position sound as a core attribute of contemporary cities. Viewers experience this through emitted sounds that change from one area of the fair to the next, thanks to the incorporation of multi-channel wireless headphones, a first by the artist. The format echoes that of the silent disco, where people listen to music of their choice from headsets and, as a result, dance out of sync with those around them. ART X Lagos visitors are also free to experience the fair without these sounds by going without headphones. Pairing the visual content of the fair with his selected sounds, Oghoh disturbs aural and visual boundaries. He presents a metaphor for life, especially its unexpected junctures, by using intangible content. In isolating sound as layers of the city, he presents jarring contrasts between that which is heard and the array of visuals that compose the fair’s offerings. Experienced within the context of the fair — a meeting point for diverse segments of society — the work invites visitors to contemplate the inextricable link between displacement, diaspora and belonging.

Lagos: 20Hz – 20kHz

Artist Emeka Ogboh has conceived a new commission, a work of sound art, that combines music with field recordings of the city of Lagos. With this project, the artist continues to position sound as a core attribute of contemporary cities. Viewers experience this through emitted sounds that change from one area of the fair to the next, thanks to the incorporation of multi-channel wireless headphones, a first by the artist. The format echoes that of the silent disco, where people listen to music of their choice from headsets and, as a result, dance out of sync with those around them. ART X Lagos visitors are also free to experience the fair without these sounds by going without headphones. Pairing the visual content of the fair with his selected sounds, Oghoh disturbs aural and visual boundaries. He presents a metaphor for life, especially its unexpected junctures, by using intangible content. In isolating sound as layers of the city, he presents jarring contrasts between that which is heard and the array of visuals that compose the fair’s offerings. Experienced within the context of the fair — a meeting point for diverse segments of society — the work invites visitors to contemplate the inextricable link between displacement, diaspora and belonging.

The Realities of Demas
Sponsored by Tangerine.ng

Award-winning filmmaker Joel Benson presents the first in a series of virtual reality films that document the studio spaces of contemporary artists based in Nigeria. Curated by Tayo Ogunbiyi, the works and archival matter shared in this film revisit the multifaceted trajectory of artist Demas Nwoko. These items include documentation of the artist’s architectural designs, his publication New Culture, theatre scripts and a selection of paintings and sculptures. The items highlight the artist’s overlapping forays into architecture, theatre, art criticism and the visual arts. The Realities of Demas offers an opportunity to reflect on histories of multidisciplinary approaches to creative expression. As contemporary artists continue to explore ideas across mediums and creative platforms, this project showcases several art historical precedents with roots in Ibadan and Asaba.

The Performance Pavilion

The Performance Pavilion is a new addition to the fair that focuses on performance art.
This year’s programme is titled small acts and includes a series of performances that invite us to consider the connection between art and ethics, curated by Wura-Natasha Ogunji.

Water Work by Eca Eps

Friday 1st November: 8.30pm

Water Work is a durational performance exploring the notion of women’s labour in the particular societal context of Nigeria. Whilst the action in the performance appears physically taxing, the performance does not exert force or pressure.

A uniformed figure appears under a torrent of water gushing out of a tanker (similar to those frequently seen delivering water to apartment blocks in Lagos). The water gushes out at a rate of 500 gallons per minute, a month’s supply for four families flooding the area and disappearing into sewers in the space of 20 minutes. Tactful links are drawn to discourses around power, (in)equality and access to resources.

Water Work by Eca Eps

Friday 1st November: 8.30pm

Water Work is a durational performance exploring the notion of women’s labour in the particular societal context of Nigeria. Whilst the action in the performance appears physically taxing, the performance does not exert force or pressure.

A uniformed figure appears under a torrent of water gushing out of a tanker (similar to those frequently seen delivering water to apartment blocks in Lagos). The water gushes out at a rate of 500 gallons per minute, a month’s supply for four families flooding the area and disappearing into sewers in the space of 20 minutes. Tactful links are drawn to discourses around power, (in)equality and access to resources.

MIRROR MIRROR by Taiwo Aiyedogbon

Saturday 2nd November: 1.30pm

Taiwo Aiyedogbon’s MIRROR MIRROR is a poetic performance that highlights human connection in the face of perceived difference and individuality. Two performers — joined at the arms by their costume — are dressed in headgear and face coverings that conceal their individuality. Over the course of the one-and-a-half-hour performance, their choreographed movements reference the spiralling structure of a DNA molecule. While their dancing is related, it is also restricted by their costume, such that the piece necessitates great collaboration and endurance for its execution.

If Not For A Child by Ngozi Schommers

Sunday 3rd November: 2pm

If Not For A Child is a performance and installation that questions the expectation of motherhood as a primary source of value for women in Nigeria, using the Igbo tradition of Ọmụgwọ as a point of departure. Ọmụgwọ centres around the care of new mothers; typically a woman’s mother will stay with her for three months or more to offer support and care for the baby. Upon return to her village, the new grandmother sings as she is welcomed home by her townswomen. She offers gifts of salt, soap, fabric and other items to thank them and attest to her wealth, privilege and accomplishments.

Schommers performs this tradition in the form of a song and dance with a group of artists, but in this case the song Ma obuhu ma Nwa, onye ga enye m? (which translates as “If not for a child, who will give me?”) becomes a question for society: If not for a child, am I of any value here?

If Not For A Child by Ngozi Schommers

Sunday 3rd November: 2pm

If Not For A Child is a performance and installation that questions the expectation of motherhood as a primary source of value for women in Nigeria, using the Igbo tradition of Ọmụgwọ as a point of departure. Ọmụgwọ centres around the care of new mothers; typically a woman’s mother will stay with her for three months or more to offer support and care for the baby. Upon return to her village, the new grandmother sings as she is welcomed home by her townswomen. She offers gifts of salt, soap, fabric and other items to thank them and attest to her wealth, privilege and accomplishments.

Schommers performs this tradition in the form of a song and dance with a group of artists, but in this case the song Ma obuhu ma Nwa, onye ga enye m? (which translates as “If not for a child, who will give me?”) becomes a question for society: If not for a child, am I of any value here?

Subscribe to Our Newsletter