CCA, Lagos and the Goethe-Institut Present The ()ther Room

CCA, Lagos and the Goethe-Institut: The ()ther Room - Omenka Online

The Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos and the Goethe-Institut Nigeria cordially invite you to the exhibition opening of The ()ther Room today at 9 McEwen Street, Sabo, Yaba.

During a visit to Germany in October 2016, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari stood beside German Chancellor Angela Merkel and said to members of the press that his wife belonged to “his kitchen, his living room and the other room”. His infamous remark went viral as #TheOtherRoom – a hashtag that denotes a dominant patriarchal narrative within Nigeria and many parts of West Africa: that women belong in the ‘kitchen’ or the ‘bedroom’ to satiate men’s hunger. This type of belief reduces the role of women within society to one of servitude and to one that is defined only in relation to their male counterparts, or by the ‘male gaze’.

The ()ther Room is an interactive exhibition that uses visuals, sound and performance to speak to the different ways in which female artists are reconfiguring womanhood in relation to their personal and cultural experiences. In fact, by offering contextualised and fluid narratives that emphasise healing, resilience and memory, restrictive and archaic definitions of what it means to be a woman – which are so widely held in a stubbornly patriarchal society – are debunked.

Works featured:

Soliloquy of a Distant Thunder (I) by Dandelion Eghosa
Performing Nostalgia, Body, Memory and aesthetics of “Past Homes”
This short film is an excerpt from an ongoing research project at the Dutch Art Institute, It explores a collection of memories from a perspective of imagining freedom (as an incomplete project) and healing via language inherent within the ritual of remembrance.

Dandelion Eghosa is a 27-year-old non-binary visual artist from Nigeria, who is currently studying at the DAI Art praxis-Artez MA program in the Netherlands. Their work with diverse visual mediums including photography, digital, analog collages, and film. Their interests lie in documenting the expressions of everyday life and in highlighting marginalised identities particularly the Afro-LGBTQ+ community. Their work offers a fresh interpretation of queer imagery and encourages the expansion of human thought, beliefs and feelings.

Birthscapes by Yadichinma Ukoha-Kalu
The artist’s piece, an immersive plexiglas installation, is part of the series ‘Birthscape’ (a play on two words birth and landscape) that poses the question “what defines the feminine?” as its starting point. According to the artist, “Birthscape has metaphorically adopted the idea of the poetry that landscapes represent, giving an opportunity for us to reconnect with ourselves and perhaps gain some inspiration or perspective.”​

Yadichinma Ukoha-Kalu is a self-taught experimental artist and illustrator based in Lagos. Her practice centers on explorations of line, form, space and boundary which she expresses through a variety of media including painting, drawing, sculpture, film and technology. She often creates environments across dimensions that bring together a combination of abstract elements, textures and material that interact with each other. Yadichinma is interested in and inspired by the process of things and how they come to be, leading her to approach her life and environment with child-like wonder and curiosity. It is with this curiosity that her interest in materials expands as she believes that objects of varying degrees carry their own worlds and systems.

Asiwaju, the Journey through Revealing the Woman by Taiwo Aiyedogbon
A participatory performance that appropriates celebratory dances, political procession and sound to draw attention to the powerful contributions of Nigerian women in shaping the country’s political landscape, past and present. Asiwaju is a popular Yoruba term used to denote political leaders and the aim of the project – which is based on research on notable female Nigerian public figures that began during an artist residency at the Treehouse, Lagos, from May to June 2021 – is to question how national histories are written and to re-tell these narratives by giving a voice to those women that have been marginalised.

Taiwo Aiyedogbon is a Lagos-based visual artist, who works with a variety of media, including painting, experimental drawing, sculpture, installation and performance art. Her work often touches upon current issues relating to politics and the environment in the city of Lagos. Recently, she has taken to creating conversations about gender and representation. She graduated from the Department of Fine Art at the Yaba College of Technology majoring in sculpture in 2016. Aiyedogbon has participated in exhibitions and performances including African Time Restaurant, Malmo, Sweden (2015), Ipele [phase] at the National Museum, Lagos (2017), Threshold as part of the inaugural Lagos Biennial (2017) and Flip Kumasi, Ghana (2019).

In addition, the Podcast-Series Speaking for Myself is integrated into the exhibition. In each of the six episodes, an influential woman in Nigeria’s cultural sector – a gallery owner, curator or arts writer – speaks to a female artist whose life and work has inspired her. The conversations offer intimate glimpses into individual experiences of womanhood and the challenges and joys these twelve women face in their quest to be creative and find meaning in their everyday lives.

***all Covid-19 safety protocols will be observed***

The exhibition will run until 31 January 2022.

Read Ask the Curator: Violet Nantume

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