“The oil-producing Niger Delta has a latent indigenous environmentalism that is ignored by international onlookers and often even locals themselves. It moves silently, in subcutaneous layers beneath the plastic, petroleum-fuelled economy and works within the system but rarely speaks its name. This is the space where I choose to make work because this is the place where we learn most about ourselves as humans and where history and possible futures are hiding…”
– Zina Saro-Wiwa
Tiwani Contemporary announces The Turquoise Meat Inside , a solo exhibition of existing and new work by the British-Nigerian video artist and filmmaker Zina Saro-Wiwa. This will mark her first solo exhibition in Europe following two solo museum presentations of her work in the US in 2015 and 2016.
The Turquoise Meat Inside furthers Saro-Wiwa’s interests in emotional landscapes, psychogeographies and invisible ecosystems, and develops the artist’s ongoing research into Niger Delta region of South-eastern Nigeria, the artist’s place of birth. Drawing on Nigerian food traditions, folklore and masquerade, the exhibition brings together works which examine and reimagine notions of environment and environmentalism.
At Tiwani Contemporary, Zina Saro-Wiwa presents potent and energetic works which tap into the hidden layers of Niger Delta life. In a challenge to long-standing beliefs and ‘disaster narratives’ about the region, the works in the exhibition summon a deeper and unfamiliar history of propinquity between the Ogoni, their land and its fecund yield.
The exhibition in September will include Karikpo Pipeline (2015) – a five-channel video installation. Situated at the intersection of nature and cultural tradition, the title of the work refers to Karikpo – a masquerade – playful in practice and unique to the Ogoni in the Niger Delta. Her new series Karikpo: Holy Star Boyz (2018) continues Saro-Wiwa’s interest in Karikpo masquerade. Shot on location again in Ogoniland, these works give a sculptural form to the insidious impact of petroleum extraction on Ogoni culture. The show will also include Table Manners (2014-ongoing) – a video work in which the artist offers a reflection on the consumption of local food and its spiritual and politico-symbolic implications.
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