Nigeria Pavilion

57th Venice Biennale / Scoletta dei Tiraoro e Battiori, Venice, Italy
13 May 2017 - 26 Nov 2017

Victor Ehikhamenor – A Biography of the Forgotten, 2017. Photo Courtesy Victor Ehikhamenor

Victor Ehikhamenor – A Biography of the Forgotten, 2017. Photo Courtesy Victor Ehikhamenor

Nigeria makes its debut participation at the 57th Venice Biennale, the theme of their presentation is How about now?. The exhibition takes the form of a multilayered timeline. It arrives from the past and, then, takes off to the future. The statement behind it is quite simply that the time for Nigeria is now.

The Nigeria Pavilion presents an opportunity for the nation to reflect on its history and heritage and how it will champion current fragmented but interconnected narratives. The selected visual artists are Victor Ehikhamenor, and Peju Alatise, and Dance / Performance Artist, Qudus Onikeku. Their works will give insights from various perspectives to contemporary Nigerian life through installations, paintings, and performance. The mediation of contemporary, historically grown issues through different forms of expression promises an invigorating experience.

How About Now? seems to be an inquisitive and challenging question which evokes a range of ideological possibilities. It forcefully implies the contemporary, and/or postcolonial. This pavilion is a framework for given potentialities—making a connection between the featured works of art and the milieu in which Nigerian artists work, and linking artistic imagination to the continuum of experience and complexity of national identity


Victor Ehikhamenor was born in Udomi-Uwessan, Edo State, Nigeria. He is an award winning visual artist, writer and photographer. He lives in Nigeria and the US. He draws influences from traditonal African motifs and religious cosmology. He has held numerous solo art exhibitions. His poetry collection, Sordid Rituals was published in 2002.

Peju Alatise is an artist, writer and poet. A mixed-media visual artist and storyteller, Alatise’s work frequently critiques the Nigerian government and social standards’ inequalities—while sometimes taking shelter in the world of Yoruba mythology and existential fantasies! Furthermore, Peju Alatise is known for her large-scale, sculptural works tackling contemporary themes most recurring of which is gender and its associated politics.

Qudus Onikeku is a dance and performance artist. He discovered dance at the age of 13. For more than a decade, he has managed to retain a presence in the Nigerian choreographic scene, and became part of the new generation of creators springing from Africa. Qudus Onikeku is known in Europe, in the USA, Latin America, Asia and the Caribbean for his solo works, writings and public space happenings. But he has also danced, collaborated and toured widely with renowned artistes all over the world.


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