There, Here, Nowhere: Dwelling At The Edge Of The World – Group Show
The Koppel Project Exchange, London, United Kingdom 18 Sep 2020 - 06 Oct 2020
Chukwudubem Ukaigwe, Swimming In The Lagos Marina, 2020. Image Courtesy of The Artist.
Kanbi Projects in collaboration with The Koppel Project Exchange is pleased to present There, Here, Nowhere: Dwelling At The Edge Of The World, a group exhibition exploring the notion of diasporic identity and the cultural production by African Diaspora artists in the West.
With Ekene Maduka, Austin Uzor, Tobi Alexandra Falade and Chukwudubem Ukaigwe
Against the backdrop of the #Blacklivesmatter movement and the wave of global protests on the issue of racial inequality, There, Here, Nowhere: Dwelling At The Edge Of The World is a visual narrative on the lived experiences of being Black in a predominantly white western society, through the lens of the African diaspora. Conceived as an interconnection of temporal spaces to frame or situate the African diasporic identity and aesthetic, the exhibition seeks to explore the relationship between space (constructed through memory, lived physical experience or imagined reality) and identity and how this inter-relationship creates the sense of ‘two-ness’ – the feeling of being both African and Westerner both in identity and aesthetic.
“There” is an historical space constructed through memory of the African diaspora ethnocultural connection and belonging to the African continent by birth, relation or roots; “Here” is a globalised contemporary space of the lived experience of the African diaspora in the country of residence or citizenship in the West. In “Here”, a tensile force exists in the diasporic identity: the notion of two-ness as the African Diaspora takes a position between “There” and “Here”. “Nowhere” is an imagined reality, an utopian space of sort, seeking to reconcile the ‘there’ with the ‘here’ in the hope that a future exists for both to co-exist within the parameters of Black subjectivity; and that broadly, within the context of art history, the possibility of an African Diasporic aesthetic forged between different context, style, artistic paradigms and cultural sensibilities being inscribed as part of the historical continuum of art without the distinction of African, Black or Western.
There, Here, Nowhere: Dwelling At The Edge Of The World is an exchange of viewpoints to re(frame) the notion of Black identity and aesthetic between the exhibiting artists: Ekene Maduka (Canada), Austin Uzor (USA), Tobi Alexandra Falade (UK) and Chukwudububem Ukaigwe (Canada). Maduka’s practice is an ongoing study of the “self”, exploring the complexity of social, political and communal influence on individual identity by camouflaging as diverse personas; this act of camouflaging is a metaphor for fluidity of individual identity. Uzor’s practice explores the politics of conflict in the Sub-Saharan regions and its ripple effect and contribution towards human displacement – this focus is personal, it is centered on his status as an immigrant in the United States of America.
Falade engages in dialogue on African and post-colonial contexts – exploring contact zones and the ideas surrounding this, her paintings are composed through collaging personal and archived family photographs to tell her story of transnationality, a place where her worlds are constantly merging and separating, and yet, she is the bond that ensures the split sticks together. Ukaigwe is an interdisciplinary artist whose practice relay a plurality of ideas, diving deep into the discourse of semiotics and modes of perception to create alternate and multiple realities that interact with each other in open dialogues, paying attention to contemporary fashion, gazes and composition.
The works in the exhibition navigate through complex multi- cultural, transnational, socio- political identities and historical art aesthetics; fluidly moving from one to the other without a sense of total belonging, as an outsider dwelling in the ‘in- between’ space of being African or Black and Western – existing on the periphery, the edge of society.
Curated by Kanbi Projects
In Collaboration with The Koppel Project Exchange
The Koppel Project Exchange
London. W1J 9EU