Emeka Ogboh: Stirring the Pot

Fraeme, Marseille, France
04 Jun 2021 - 24 Oct 2021

Emeka Ogboh, Ámà: The Gathering Place, 2019
Cleveland Museum of Art
© Scott Shaw

Emeka Ogboh, Ámà: The Gathering Place, 2019 Cleveland Museum of Art © Scott Shaw

An all-rounder and internationally renowned artist, Emeka Ogboh is interested in migration issues and the links that men and women weave with their places of life, memory or passage. For his first personal exhibition in France / in Marseille, the artist will invest in the Panorama and the Rooftop of the Friche la Belle de Mai with a film, a multi-sensory installation and will develop an artistic event project throughout the summer: dinners inviting different African chefs, crafting beer for the On air events, DJ Sets and radio sessions, publication of a collection of recipes … multiple proposals orchestrated by Emeka Ogboh as part of the Africa Season 2020.

Emeka Ogboh works with various mediums, such as sound and video as well as food products which indistinctively become the reading and understanding instruments of the cities as cosmopolitan, migratory and globalized spaces. He proceeds by sampling and arranging, blurring the boundaries between artistic disciplines on the same level as mental and geographic barriers, in order to better reflect the sensorial hyperlinks between the various territories crossed and summoned, constantly disrupted by the power of the present and the interpretation of history. Places, characters and panoramas suddenly emerge as brief apparitions from distant memories leading to the coexistence of the suspended time of the artwork with the contemporary bustle. In Marseille, Emeka Ogboh is developing sensitive ties between the southern metropolis and the different harbors in West Africa by proofreading ancient relationships from the perspective of here and now.

Within the Panorama, signature architecture in la Friche, the artist presents an unprecedented work, a composite environment, where moving images, olfactory narratives and a sound installation respond to each other, offering a multi-sensitive experience of a return journey. The exhibition spaces of la Tour welcome a variation of an existing installation, named Ámà: The Gathering Place, made in 2019. The artist proposes to invest the space of the museum to turn it into a living space, dedicated to encounters and relaxing. Therefore, he questions the social role of the exhibition space to create favorable conditions to share, discuss and reflect. The installation is inspired by the Igbo ethnic group in Nigera, where traditional fabrics originate, and a sound environment composed from their sacred music. The rooftop of la Friche is taken over by Emeka Ogboh as a platform for possibilities, invested in the continuity of the exhibition by extended artistic forms and cultural moments: invitation for Nigerian chefs from Nigeria, Benin and Cameroon, installation, music program, etc. Those various moments and invitations to the public are specifically thought out for the venue and compose a global proposition where hospitality is championed. A book of recipes from those various encounters is published and constitutes the memory of the project.

Emeka Ogboh has participated in numerous international exhibitions, including the Biennale of Dakar, 2014, the 56th Biennale of Venice, 2015, documenta 14 in Athens and Kassel, 2017, Skulptur Projekte Münster, 2017, at the Tate Modern in London, 2018, and Fiac in Paris, 2019. He also co-founded Video Art Network Lagos. In 2016 he was awarded Bremen’s Böttcherstraße prize, in 2018 he was a finalist in the prestigious Hugo Boss prize for contemporary art, and in 2019, jointly with Otobong Nkanga, he wins the Sharjah Biennial Prize.




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