LagosPhoto Festival: Regimes of Truth

LagosPhoto Festival: Regimes of Truth

The 2017 edition of the annual LagosPhoto Festival will run from November 24 to December 15, 2017.

Photography, like science, is an observational study that is enhanced by a fecund imagination. This aspect of active imagination and creative ingenuity is often concealed by their rhetoric of truthfulness and their claims of veracity. It is this tension between evolving inventiveness and dissolving dogmatism that fosters knowledge and has linked both disciplines forever. But the ligand that binds both photography and science is also faith, an active faith that enables action and confidence to make bold predictions about the future. This is because the viewer must be seduced and then engage to believe. Without the suspension of disbelief, the work falls flat and is therefore meaningless.

Themed Regimes of Truth, the festival will explore the pursuit for and presentation of truth in contemporary society, gleaning inspiration from the writings of some of the 19th and 20th centuries’ most influential literary realists and intellectuals.

Over the last century, a number of writers and thinkers have predicted our contemporary society’s information and knowledge quandary: Achebe, Flaubert, Huxley, and Orwell being germane examples. With the improving affordability and influence of the print press, Flaubert believed that newspapers were spreading idiocy and mental laziness a combination he crystallized into one word — la bêtise. Flaubert railed against the situation where populations were told what to think and wore these received opinions like fashion to be displayed at every opportunity. Orwell was concerned that books would be banned and society would be deprived of information but Huxley went further and was concerned that there would indeed be little reason to ban information for in the superfluity of information and saturation of falsehood the truth would be less palatable and more obscure such as to be irrelevant and unwelcome. Alternative facts are much preferred. With Achebe we are only assured of one essential truth: for the African, we must find our own truth.

The 2017 edition of LagosPhoto Festival calls to reflect on these regimes of truths and beliefs, and the fading relevance of the quest for reality in our time. Contemporary photography is the new repository of the fading quest for reality, not by virtue of its supposed freedom, but because it embodies the synthesis and unmasks the contradictions of the knowledge society and its imperative for creativity. It is our point of interdependence and the most democratic tool for social engagement today in the sense that almost everyone can take pictures and share using smartphones.

Under these conceptual premises, the curatorial team at LagosPhoto led by Artistic Director Azu Nwagbogu will gather established and emerging artists whose work, ironically, subtly or brutally unveil the dissemination of power and the unfolding of new irreverential global logic at work in the construction of subjectivities as fragmented, euphoric beings. As is usual with LagosPhoto, there will be no boundaries or bias based on photographic approach. Historical work, archival material, reportage, collage, conceptual and non-conceptual image-based approach will be considered.

This year’s edition features an interesting line up of artists such as; Alun Be, Amina Zoubir, Bas Losekoot, Cristina De Middel, Dagmar van Weeghel, Eloghosa Osunde, Francis Kokoroko, Francois Beaurain / Medina Dugger, Giya Makondo-Wills, Ivan Forde, Jan Hoek, Joana Choumali, Jody Brand, Justine Tjallinks, Kadara Enyeasi, Keyezua, Logor, Lorena Ros, Lubabetu Abubakar, Nadine Ijewere, Nicola Lo Calzo, Osborne Macharia, and Owanto Berger.

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