Victor Ehikhamenor was...
Born in Udomi-Uwessan, Edo State, Nigeria in 1970 and lives and works between Lagos, Nigeria and Maryland, USA. He is a multi-faceted artist whose practice encompasses painting, drawing, photography, sculpture and installation, as well as unique perforated works on paper. Hailing from a small village in Edo State, the historic seat of the Benin Empire, he draws inspiration from the dual aesthetic and spiritual traditions which infused his upbringing, using imagery and symbolism from both Edo traditional religion and Catholicism. His signature patterning is a frenetic mélange of gestural abstraction and stylized forms revealing faces, objects and writing systems. This patterning is used in everything from paintings to photographs to immersive installations, producing a hypnotic experience, a sense of both meditative repetition and an ongoing narrative being told.
Storytelling is an important element of the artist’s practice, whether the magic realism of memory and nostalgia, or biting criticism of history and politics. Ehikhamenor is also a published writer, not only of fiction but also of critical essays in various academic journals, magazines and newspapers including the New York Times and Washington Post. He has also worked in journalism, as creative director and columnist at Next Newspapers in Lagos, as well as serving as CEO and editor-in-chief of the Nigerian national newspaper the Daily Times. His book, Excuse Me! (2012, Parresia Publishers), a satirical non-fiction look at Nigerian life, is a recommended text at two Nigerian universities.
His work has also been included in numerous group exhibitions and biennales, including the 5th Mediations Biennale in Poznan, Poland (2016), the 12th Dak’art Biennale in Dakar, Senegal (2016), Humanity Today, a multi-artist exhibition by Jenkins Johnson Gallery, San Francisco, USA (2017), Biennale Jogja XIII, Indonesia (2015), as well as being shown at the 56th Venice Biennale as part of the German Pavilion (2015)
Peju Alatise is known for her...
Large scale, sculptural works tackling contemporary themes most recurring of which is gender and its associated politics. The exquisite nature of her technique produces and encounter between what is sensed and what is known—as a material means to examine Nigeria’s shifting order of visibility within the global landscape. Among her extensive resume highlights her recent experiences as a researcher at the Smithsonian Institute in D.C, as an art teacher in Venice, and as artist resident in Morocco. From her initial training as an architect to her experiments with an incredibly broad spectrum of media—from words to clay and cloth—she has positioned herself as a demiurge. That is to say she has the ability to unearth multiple layers of meaning (and often violent historical memories) from beneath the surface of everyday objects, language, and social relations. Crafting alternative social imageries and challenging master narratives in politics and media, her trajectory sharply illustrates how artists in Africa are filling in the gaps left by official histories. At the 2014 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair, hers was generally adjudged to be the standout piece created in response to the kidnapping of 234 Chibok girls. It featured a series of panels of anonymous Nigerian girls using the Ankara fabric. It was titled, ‘Missing’.
Qudus Onikeku is effortlessly a...
Thinker, dancer, choreographer, writer, curator, creative director, and filmmaker. He is the is the Artistic director and founder of YK Projects, Paris and QDanceCenter. Lagos.
He is a graduate of The National Higher School of Circus Arts, France. For two decades, he has retained a presence in the Nigerian choreographic scene, and part of the new generation creators springing up from Africa, known in Europe, Asia, in the USA, Latin America, and the Caribbean for his solo works, writings and groundbreaking research projects.
He was awarded “Dancer of the Year” by the Future Awards in Nigeria in 2009, while in October 2010, his solo piece titled My Exile is in my Head was crowned the “the best solo performance” during the Africa-wide dance encounters Danse l’Afrique danse in Bamako, Mali. In 2012 he received the SACD prize for “New choreographic talent” in France, and in 2013 he became a Visiting Professor to UCDavis, California.
In July 2011, Qudus was invited by the Festival d’Avignon to present his creation STILL/life in collaboration with the Belgian choreographer Damien Jalet. In December 2011, he was commissioned by the Torino Danza Festival in Italy to present a piece with an orchestra, where he created “KADDISH” which was re-worked under a new title QADDISH and premiered at the Festival d’Avignon in 2013. In 2013 he was equally commissioned to create FLASH with the students of UCDavis.
In 2014 Qudus returned to Lagos after a decade in Paris and on the road, to initiate various artistic projects in Nigeria, through The QDance Center. Since his return, he has created AFRICAMAN ORIGINAL on Fela’s music, Every Woman, as well as a “mixed ability” piece IWA L’EWA. In 2016 he created We Almost Forgot in Berlin, with a premiere in Lagos, Abuja and Paris. Qudus has taken dance art and its appreciation to a totally different level.