The Centre for Contemporary Art Lagos presents an exhibition of five international new media artists contextualized by London based gallerist and curator Bea Herhold de Sousa. Artists Declan Clarke (Republic of Ireland), Nooshin Farhid (GB/Iran), Hetain Patel (GB / India), Janek Schaefer (GB/ Poland/ Canada) and Stefanos Tsivopoulos (Greece/ Iran).
In his 1993 essay “In “The Heart of Darkness”, more than a decade prior to the Western economic and philosophical crisis the Nigerian artist and art historian Olu Oguibe stated: The contest for History is central to the struggle for a redefinition and eventual decimation of centrism and its engendering discourses. The works in this exhibition openly query systemic categorisations in favour of a more personal and passionate search for the multi-facetted truths. The works address various events, which have gained more relevance on the background of a European economic crisis and the political tensions which follow. Currently the examination of how truths are created and disseminated is a very important aspect of contemporary art. The works reflect on different personal aspects of international artists either experiencing conflicts or seeking new structures to understand and record history.
Declan Clarke’s personal portrait of life as a child during the fairly recent Northern Irish conflict (1960s-1998) and the formative influence it had on his family and Nooshin Farhid’s account of a feminist life in Iran during the revolution are both historically relevant stories. Both are told from an individual perspective, of one family, of one woman. Each bears witness in a different way to official accounts, each makes links to unexpected topics and creates new configurations. Both works are also formally innovative. ”Imagine a World” by Janek Schafer, a sound artist, speaks of our inability to prevent un-viable economics and the depletion of natural resources. The radio transmission recollected by a computer-generated avatar uses analogue home-customised sound equipment like old radios and vinyl record players. Also using musical language Hetain Patel performs the different strokes of the Indian Tabla drum almost like a dance on video. Drawing with Kanku (red turmeric) on his body he makes signs, which signify different drumbeats, but during the performance the signs resemble more and more the St George’s Cross of the English flag. The slippage reminds of the melting of cultures through history and the creation of new relevant languages.
Stefanos Tsivopoulos’ film Amnesialand blurs fact and fiction. He made the film about a mining community, which yielded great riches for centuries, but was abandoned as a deserted landscape full of toxic mining waste. The film is set in the future reminding us of the archeology of the past, thereby bringing the debate about the importance of archives back to the fore. The exhibition on the whole reflects how human history is recorded. It also highlights the importance of the use of new media and performance in creating artworks, which can immersively transform our way of seeing the world.
Thanks to Bisi Silva and Jude Anogwih , CCA Lagos and Winnie Okpapi ( British Council), Lagos
Exhibition Opening at CCA
Venue: Centre for Contemporary Arts (CCA), Yaba
Date: January 31, 2015
Talk Event with Andrew Esiebo:
Venue: British Council Gardens. 20 Thompson Avenue, Ikoyi
Date: February 4, 2015
Declan Clarke (Ireland, born1974) Selected Exhibitions include Mother’s Tankstation, Dublin, 2011 and 2014, Whitstable Biennale, UK and Migrating Forms Underground Film Festival, New York (2010), Declan Clarke & Derek Jarman, Serpentine Cinema, Serpentine Gallery at The Gate Cinema, London (2009) Pierogi, Leipzig (2008), Art Now Lightbox, Tate Britain 2006
Nooshin Farhid (Iran) Exhibitions include Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, 2010, Upstream Gallery, Amsterdam 2011, Katara Art Center, Doha, Qatar in 2011, the Marrakesh Biennale in 2012, Mohsen Gallery Teheran, 2011, Sharjah Art Foundation, 2014, Mardin Biennale 2014
Hetain Patel (GB/ India, born 1980) Selected Solo Exhibitions and Performances, Chatterjee and Lal Gallery, Mumbai 2015 and 2012, Sadler’s Wells Theatre, London, American Boy, Pump House Gallery, London, 2014, TED talk, Edinburgh 2013, The Tanks at Tate Modern, London 2012
Janek Schaefer (GB/ Poland/ Canada, born 1970) Recipient of the Prix Ars Electronica 2004, the Paul Hamlyn Award and British Composer of the Year Award both in 2008. Selected exhibitions include Sonar, Tate Modern, London, ICA, London, Walker Art Center, Mineeapolis and the Sydney Opera House.
Stefanos Tsivopoulos (Greece/ Iran, born 1973) Greek Pavilion, 55th International Exhibition La Biennale di Venezia 2013, Solo Exhibitions: MuCEM, Marseille; Cycladic Museum of Art Athens (2014); Stella Art Foundation, Moscow (2013); ISCP, New York (2011); Heidelberg Kunstverein; Smart Project Space, Amsterdam (2010); Recent group exhibitions include: Tate Modern, London; 2nd CAFAM Biennial, Beijing; EVA Biennial, Limerick; (2014); Haus Der Culturen Der Welt, Berlin (2013); SALT, Istanbul; 4th Sculpture Quadrennial Riga (2012); Centre Pompidou, Paris (2011& 2010); Manifesta 8, Murcia; Witte de With, Rotterdam (2010)