Lagos Biennial 2024 (3 – 10 February), the occasion’s fourth version and a return after a two-year hiatus, was held with the theme ‘refuge’, on the Tafawa Balewa Sq., an deal with honouring Nigeria’s first prime minister upon independence, Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa. The biennial was based in 2017 by an artist collective below the Àkéte Artwork Basis; it has since been devoted to the curation, presentation and significant discourse of artwork in Africa, including to the dialog round politics, financial and social complexities throughout the continent.
The 2024 version featured a number of creatives throughout structure, arts, vogue and movie areas, all deciphering the refuge theme in their very own means and shaping their works by it.
Lagos Biennial 2024 highlights
Miracle Central by Victor Ehikhamenor
In what could be considered the tallest set up on the biennial, visible artist Victor Ehikhamenor fused artwork with structure, making a grand set up titled Miracle Central that took the viewers again to the 2000s. The set up, a dialogue on faith, and the lengthy chokehold it has held on Nigeria for many years, took viewers right into a ‘church’ clad with 1000’s of white handkerchiefs, which symbolise the Pentecostal motion within the nation. Every part throughout the set up is suspended within the air, from floating chairs and musical devices to the pulpit and the microphone stand. By laying a number of mirrors on the ground, Ehikhamenor rendered equality earlier than God. ‘With Miracle Central, I prolong the main focus of my ongoing interrogations on the duality present in expressions of faith and tradition to Pentecostalism,’ Ehikhamenor mentioned. ‘Miracle Central invitations meditation on the hallowed house to be discovered on the intersections of faith, politics, historical past, and expressions of belonging.’
Human hive 3 by Chinenye Emelogu
One of the memorable installations for its daring and vibrant colors, Human Hive 3 invited viewers to strategy it with their very own interpretations. The work is artist Chinenye Emelogu’s means of making a social construction that doesn’t really feel unusual or influenced by societal expectation. Emelogu was impressed by the social patterns of bees, their communal wrestle to create a utopia, and he or she tries to create a dialogue with happenings in Nigeria, posing questions on what utopia means for the nation and the way Nigerians can work in direction of it. The set up was made out of strips of plastic rings utilized in product packaging.
‘Traces of Ecstasy’ a pavilion curated by KJ Abudu
Titled after an essay by the British-Nigerian visible artist Rotimi Fani-Kayode, Traces of Ecstasy is an architectural pavilion that options alongside an artwork exhibition and symposium, and premiered on the Lagos Biennial 2024. It was curated by KJ Abudu and options the work of creatives from varied fields: Evan Ifekoya, Nolan Oswald Dennis, Raymond Pinto, Adeju Thomspon and Temitayo Shonibare. Within the pavilion, viewers have been met by a visible set up that defined key moments in Nigeria’s historical past, from the Nineteen Sixties to the trendy day, together with independence and #EndSars (a motion towards police brutality in Nigeria), in addition to a video on Nineteen Eighties Space Scatter, Nigeria’s first crossdresser. Sound and vogue installations are offered within the type of calabash sound programs and floating adire (tie-dye) material. ‘Traces of Ecstasy goals to unsettle the colonial capitalist energy buildings that keep and reproduce the ideological legitimacy of the nation-state in submit/neocolonial Africa,’ mentioned Abudu.
Yakachana by Ibrahim Mahama
Yakachana by Ibrahim Mahama addresses ecological considerations, and what it’s prefer to share house with different organisms, in an artistically grotesque set up that includes decayed luggage. Mahama appears to be like again to Ghana within the Nineteen Sixties, the abandonment of buildings, and the way they turned residence to different creatures and organisms. The set up, product of jute sacks used to move cocoa, sees the artist examine failed world programs and the issue of industrialisation. ‘Via my work and the form of objects that I exploit – previous decayed or discarded supplies to create large-scale installations and site-specific interventions – I realised that the deserted buildings had actually attention-grabbing qualities,’ mentioned Mahama.
Betok babhi, Babhi betandat, bassem, by Em’kal Eyongakpa
Em’kal Eyongakpa created vivid sonic experiences for viewers within the type of a gorgeous set up constructed with nets and virtually a thousand crates of eggs. Vibrations and movement have been key, with viewers standing on prime of a vibrating picket platform to expertise totally different frequencies and modes. Eyongakpa examined collective histories of habitats, how they mimic, evoke and make use of parts and pure phenomena. The piece takes inspiration from poly-rhythmic beat mills and sonic activations from refugee camps in Cross River, South South Nigeria, the place the artist had created an artwork group.
Omo elu by Tabita Rezaire
Textile artwork meets spirituality in Tabita Rezaire’s set up, that includes seven clay-stained indigo materials that paid homage to Yemoja, the mom of the Orishas and the goddess of water. Every textile piece embodies a non secular consciousness. In a different way sized calabashes with cowries positioned on the centre of the set up symbolised a ritualistic type of follow. ‘Omo elu is an ode to the nuances of blue, echoing the numerous paths of Yemoja: Yemoja the mom, the warrior, the creator, the healer, the ruler, the dancer,’ mentioned Rezaire.