From June 27 to September 10, 2015, Art 21 will present Elsewhere, a group exhibition of painting, photography, sculpture, and collage exploring contemporary notions of fantasy in an interconnected global environment. The exhibition showcases work by leading contemporary artists from Switzerland, Denmark, France, Nigeria and Ghana, who define alternative ways of depicting otherness, not rooted in spatial boundaries but by instability, fluidity, and cross-cultural assimilation.

Elsewhere also examines the relationship between history, memory, and the creation of new imaginaries, ranging from material manifestations of the afterlife to fake artifacts, cultural reconfigurations, and performative interventions.

Joseph Eze and Demola Ogunajo’s paintings adopt cultural references that span time periods and geographies, from mythical characters to street fashion and contemporary mass culture. Namsa Leuba’s photographs examine the representation of African identity through the Western imagination, combining an anthropological interest in ancient ceremonial structures with an aesthetic that is informed by fashion and design sensibilities.

Abraham Oghobase questions the socio-economic histories of ‘African’ wax fabrics, inserting his own body within fictive scenarios. Paa Joe and Jacob Tetteh-Ashong create spectacular coffins in the form of consumer goods that speak to the aspirations and values of their intended users.

Yarisal and Kublitz’s sculptures incorporate quotidian objects that take the form of pseudo-spiritual relics of a mass-produced era, while Vincent Michéa’s collages transform photographic portraits into silhouetted abstractions of geometric forms.

In all, the artists point to the space between clearly defined boundaries, where meaning is produced through their simultaneous associations and junctures. In so doing, they form new understandings of ritual; transcendence and belonging that are intimately tied to the signifiers of a global economy.


Oliver Enwonwu is founder and Editor-in-Chief of Omenka magazine, Director, Omenka Gallery and Chief Executive, Revilo. He holds a first degree in Biochemistry, advanced diploma in Exploration Geophysics (distinction), Post Graduate Diplomas in Applied Geophysics and Visual Art (distinction) and a Masters in Art History, all from the University of Lagos. He is the founder, Executive Director, and trustee of The Ben Enwonwu Foundation. He also sits on the board of several organizations including the National Gallery of Art, Nigeria and the Reproduction Rights Society of Nigeria. Enwonwu is also president of both the Society of Nigerian Artists and the Alliance of Nigerian Art Galleries.

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