Curated Projects

2019      2018      2017      2016

This is Lagos
Sponsored by The SAGE Innovation Centre

This project showcased emerging photographers whose work documented 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 revealed 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 were “consumed” by elements that represented a few of the ways in which the environment is currently at risk.
This is Lagos responded to Falz’s ‘This is Nigeria’, and in turn Childish Gambino’s ‘This is America’. Shifting from their emphasis on people, this project presented the environment as a shared space. The aim was to highlight everyday choices which affect the condition of Lagos. Additionally, the project sought to stimulate conversations about decisions made today that will affect our shared tomorrows. The featured photographers included Amanda Iheme, Nyancho NwaNri and Ifebusola Shotunde.

Lagos: 20Hz – 20kHz

For the 2019 edition of the fair, Artist Emeka Ogboh conceived a new commission, a work of sound art, that combined 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 experienced 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 were 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 disturbed aural and visual boundaries. He presented a metaphor for life, especially its unexpected junctures, by using intangible content. In isolating sound as layers of the city, the work presented 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 invited visitors to contemplate the inextricable link between displacement, diaspora and belonging.

Lagos: 20Hz – 20kHz

For the 2019 edition of the fair, Artist Emeka Ogboh conceived a new commission, a work of sound art, that combined 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 experienced 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 were 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 disturbed aural and visual boundaries. He presented a metaphor for life, especially its unexpected junctures, by using intangible content. In isolating sound as layers of the city, the work presented 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 invited 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.

Àlà

This two-channel video by Emeka Ogboh was created in 2014 when the artist was well into his Lagos Soundscapes series, and showcased at ART X Lagos 2019. The series is composed of artworks that feature details of Lagos in sound, photography and video. In making Àlà,Ogboh culled content from his audio and visual field recordings of daily movements in the city. The result is an audiovisual collage that reflects diverse and shared experiences had in Lagos.

The Performance Pavilion

The Performance Pavilion was a new addition to the fair that focused on performance art. The 2019 programme was titled small acts and included a series of performances that invited the audience to consider the connection between art and ethics, curated by Wura-Natasha Ogunji

Water Work by Eca Eps

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

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

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

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

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

Stay up-to-date with the latest from ART X Lagos.