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Systems of Disobedience

4 SEPTEMBer 2020 - 3 JANuary 2021

(Dates to be confirmed)

Systems of Disobedience
Curated by Folakunle Oshun as part of the 2020 Africa Season

Confirmed artists: Nico Athene, Abdulrazaq Awofeso, Victor Ehikhamenor, Rahima Gambo, Lamis Haggag, Bettina Malcomess (aka Anne Historical), Native Maqari & Simon Rouby, Yara Mekawei,Yassine Mekhnache, Adeyemi Michael, Sandra Poulson & Raul Jorge Gourgel.

Making use of the entrance hall and an entire floor of the museum, Folakunle Oshun (artist, exhibition curator, and artistic director of the Lagos Biennial since its inception in 2017) invites artists from the African continent to react to one of the themes selected for the 2020 Africa Season.

"The thematic for this exhibition is adapted from one of the five cardinal institutions created to frame the Season Africa 2020. In this particular situation, the intention is to examine different scenarios and experiences from several artists across the continent with the primary objective of identifying possible tangent points that speak to our shared histories and pay homage to various resistance movements, moments and positions in our histories. This would stand by itself as a valid point of entry into pertinent conversations on political antecedents, actions, and their ramifications begging to be reexamined by such a forum.
Taking a step further, it is both a curatorial and artistic intent of all collaborators on this project to explore a multiplicity of systems and machineries that constitute both private and civil disobedience as a device to navigate and survive the constrictions of globalization and postcolonialism; Post-colonialism in this situation as an action that has to be mitigated and not a theory that needs to be expounded.
The artists in this exhibition are keen to tint the lenses through which they are seen by the rest of the world and particularly the west. These colorations will not be contrived but rather a performative creation of scenarios to be activated by the viewer.
Post-independence Africa has been besieged by neo-colonial rhetorics which are constantly recited to reinforce the subtlety of Western strongholds on their former colonies. Culture has constantly been a scapegoat in perpetuating these sentiments both by way of cultural events and also through formal and informal educational pedagogies and apparatus.
We seek to tell personal stories and tales of communal solidarity which visibly account for our dissatisfaction with socio-political scales and also suggest our preferred mode of existence.

To be staged in a 1000 square meter space on the 1st level of the Museum, the artists seek to create a compendium of scenarios and situations detailing their personal experiences through various means and mediums of action or their inaction. These various situations will be superimposed or in some cases move within a conceptual framework of a subterrestrial space that speaks directly to the architecture of the museum while also telegraphing the political straits in which most of the artists find themselves. The physical space is initially imagined in relation to the subsequent floors above it, reflecting on itself as a tunnel or underpass of a bridge.
Collaboration The artists in this project will strive to work as collaborators rather than individual artists, the aim is to find tangent points in our histories and experiences that resonate universally as Africans.
Navigating the physical space Motion sensory apparatuses will be used to illuminate the space and guide the audience as they navigate the exhibition. Sound, video, lighting, projections and imagery will all be triggered by motion to immerse the audience into this tableau. This will help give a more interactive and participatory experience and also function as a cartographic means of place-making, giving back the individuality to the artists even as they create a dissonance in this Apocalypse. The precariousness of this space has to be transmitted to the audience who will have to navigate the space as what it is - voices seeking to be heard in the dark. The artists'spaces will not be demarcated opaquely but rather, their artistic production will be in conversation." - Folakunle Oshun.

Africa 2020