LABAF 2016 WHO WILL BLINK FIRST?
November 11–13, 2016
Opening: November 11, with performance by Jelili Atiku
(Old Colonial Prison)
#1 Hospital street, by Broad street.
Artists: Aderemi Adegbite (photography/film). Efe Paul Ajino (spoken word). Jelili Atiku (performance). Nkechi Nwosu-Igbo (installation). Bob-nosa Uwagboe (mixed media)
Curator: Nkechi Nwosu-Igbo
There is a crucial need to create and improve new radical and well-founded tactics of fighting, surviving, and collective action to be able to exist in Nigeria of today. Who Will Blink First? suggests an arranged, time-based, three-dimensional village meeting where the exhibition hall will serve as a site for exchange of survival ideas.
The idea units are prepared by four artists and one spoken-word performer representing mixed media painting, literature, performance, installation, photography and film, and all units’ point of departure is education as a weapon in recession survival and engaging artistic approaches. A central emphasis of the art produce from each unit will show how acquired knowledge from personal experiences has formed the artists’ ideologies and helped them and others stand their ground against difficult times and political conflicts.
Who Will Blink First? hopes to awaken the desire for individual dignity and lose the urge to “blink first” in the face of undesirable economic conditionings or political exploitation.
Presented by MILD RED STUDIOS
MEET THE ARTISTS
JELILI ATIKU, Performance artist
“I am a Nigerian multimedia artist with political concerns for human rights and justice. Through drawing, installation sculpture, photography, video and performance (live art); I strive to help viewers understand the world and expand their understanding and experiences, so that they can activate and renew their lives and environments. “For over a decade, I have put my art at service of the prevailing concerns of our times; especially those issues that threaten our collective existence and the sustenance of our universe. The contents of these concerns ranging from psychosocial and emotional effects of the traumatic events such as violence, war, poverty, corruption, climate change, etc., that are associated with our warring world have dominated my artistic forms.
“Born in 27th September, 1968 in Ejigbo (Lagos); I was trained at the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, and the University of Lagos, where I earned Bachelor of Arts (Fine Arts) and Master’s of Arts degrees in Visual Arts, respectively. I am presently the artistic Director of AFiRIperFOMA — a collective of performance artists in Africa; and Chief Coordinator of Advocate for Human Rights Through Art (AHRA); and the CEO/Chairman of Ateckhu Forms Limited.
“I have traveled widely and participated in numerous performances/exhibitions/talks in Lagos (Nigeria), Tokyo (Japan), Gunpo (South Korea), Paris (France), Berlin (Germany), Madrid (Spain); Copenhagen (Denmark), Malmo and Jarna (Sweden); London, Wales, Manchester, Scarborough, York (United Kingdom); Vancouver BC and Victoria BC (Canada), Casablanca (Morocco), Accra (Ghana), Harare (Zimbabwe), Limbe and Yaoundé (Cameroun), Kampala (Uganda), etc.
BOB-NOSA UWAGBOE, poet, painter, photographer
He was born in the ancient city of Benin kingdom, rich in cultural and artistic heritage. He received his professional education at the famous colorist school, Auchi Polytechnic Auchi, Edo State, where he graduated with a Higher National Diploma (H.N.D) in 2004 and specialized in painting.
Bob-Nosa as he is fondly called, retired immediately to full-time studio practice after his national youth service corps (NYSC) at Abuja. After a brief stay in Abuja, he relocated to Lagos to set up The Protest Art Studio to explore his creative energy in an experimental path that has resulted in thought provoking themes and often times spark of anger, pain, passion and vision that are not often defined by the subject matters and defy the border usually set by artistic canons. He evokes emotion with his art in which he employs diverse materials seemingly unconnected at first, he often succeed in challenging the audience to deeper engagement with his work from which there are varied interpretation and reflection mostly concerned with issues of falsehood, deception, bad leadership and reaching to the unreached.
The poor leadership in Africa and high level of inhumanity practices among men that has become the norm is my primary interest in art, Which I interpret either offensively or defensively. My art is a puzzle, magical and consuming to my viewers. My creative process is a moment of calmness, anger, pain, passion, therapeutic and evoking emotion in which I employ diverse materials such as my used fabric, my hair, sand, papers, sack, rope, acrylic, spray paint, crayon, charcoal, oil paint on canvas or board and this process is a moment of total surrender to my will power and opening up my soul as a channel where good ideas pass through and the result is of human significance and with global validity.I don’t pre-destine my art process, these might circumscribe my creative effort and jeopardize creativity.
Bob-Nosa Uwagboe shocked the art public in 2009 in his show “Recent works by bob-nosa” held at the pan African university in Lagos with originality and strength of his voice. Bob-nosa arts can be found in many respectable public and private collections both in Nigeria and Abroad and have shown in different important exhibition worldwide. He is married to Bawo-Okoro Uwagboe and blessed with a son(osarenkhoe). He currently lives and works in Lagos.
ADEREMI ADEGBITE, poet, photographer, filmmaker
Born in Ebute-Metta, Lagos State, Aderemi’s parents are from Inisa, Odo-Otin local government area in Osun State. He attended three primary schools between Lagos and Osun states to complete his primary education in the early 1990s due to the political situation in Nigeria then. His love for art and culture grew during his primary education in Osun state.
He discovered photography and moving images as a means of re-examining himself, his community and the society as pretext of his image production. He received his first prize in 2011 with his video work — Ghetto Games — which won “In my backyard” category of the One Minutes Africa by The One Minutes Foundation. He could not attend the award ceremony in Egypt due to the political uprising at the time. He has since created series of personal projects and also worked on commissioned projects. At the tail end of 2005, Aderemi created and curated Poetry Potter, a monthly live performance project which ran between January 2006 and 2010. As a passionate poet himself, he created this platform to serve as grooming ground for young poets, dramatists, dancers and musicians and for four years he produced this project. He ventured into publishing to extend his frontier of literary art promotion and at the end of 2011 he published his first book – a poetry collection: Endless Roads by Ralph Tathagata under Image Books, an imprint of Image & Heritage. In the first quarter of 2013, he released his second poetry publication: Symphony of Becoming by Iquo Eke, which made the long list of NLNG Nigerian Prize for Literature same year.
In 2011, he produced his first film, titled Ghettoration, a short documentary film. Ghettoration is a coinage from Ghetto and Gyration. It tells the story of three friends, who live in the same community with the same passion but limited to opportunities at that point in their career. The three artists have since consolidated on their individual recording and performance careers.
Aderemi started his artistic career through his involvement in the theatre. He trained with the playwright Lekan Balogun as a “stage hand”. With the playhouse – Legendaire Theatre, he gained experiences and established himself as a self-taught Cultural Producer and Arts Manager.
As a Cultural Producer/Arts Manager, he has produced and coordinated several arts and literary events which include Poetry Potter, Lagos Poetry Festival, WordSlam, Fashion Revolution and Fashion Revolution Reloaded. He initiated P.A.G.E.S curate it in collaboration with the Centre for Contemporary Art in Lagos (CCA, Lagos).
Aderemi became conscious of his literary craftsmanship in 2004 and he started writing plays, poetry and prose but he distinguished himself in 2005 when he took poetry as his genre of interest. The defunct Daily Times newspapers was the first platform that gave him an avenue to express his opinion about politics, life, love, death and rebirth. And as a young poet, he published quite a lot of poems on the online poetry platforms and several anthologies, mostly published by the Forward Press, UK. Aderemi was invited by the exco of the Association of Nigerian Authors, Lagos Chapter mid-2006 to become the Public Relations Officer under the chairmanship of Folu Agoi for two years, 2006–2008. Since 2006, Aderemi has contributed to anthologies mostly published by Anchor Books and PoetryNow, both are imprints of Forward Press UK. His other creative writings have appeared in literary magazines such as Poeticdiversity, Blackbiro, Blottermagazine;Oneghanaonevoice, Shortpoem, Anchorbooks, Wisdom of Our Mother, Sentinel Nigeria.
NKECHI NWOSU-IGBO, poet, painter, conceptual artist
Born in Onitsha, Anambra State, Nkechi is a poet, installation artist, and painter who lives and works in Lagos. She studied Mixed Media painting at the University of Nigeria Nsukka, where she was inspired by the works of Obiora Udechukwu and Olu Oguibe. She started exhibiting quite early and has been involved in over 80 exhibitions till date. She serves as a curator at The Edge Studio and the Artistic Director of Mild Red Studios.
Her installations explore themes of faith, power, and Educating the girl-child. These unapologetically crude installations are known for their very high level of critical activism and societal obligation. Some group exhibitions include Merging Stories (2014), No Fly List (2013), Interrupted Lives (2012), Old News (2009), Closures and Enclosures (2009), Identities & Labels (2005), The Rediscovery of Uli (2005), REFLEX (2004), the CHOGM exhibition (2003), Hybrid (2000). Her Solo exhibitions include Not Ready to Walk Away (2009), Implied Walls (2006), Creating Space, Erasing Space (2003), Urban Ugliness (2001). Her work has been shown in Africa, Asia, North America, and Europe.
Her book The Fluttering of Wings, a collection of poems and photographs, was published in 2005.
Nkechi says of her work: “I have always had something to say. I write poetry, and I also do fiction but I am happier when I talk with my art. It seems more finished, more complete…. like I have said it all.
“I am drawn to anything that speaks to our intelligence. If an idea comes to me, it will be on how to share or gain knowledge; how to articulate the world’s current physical emotions and still be true to my personal journey.
“My work is completely idea-driven, the physical piece I produce at the end is just to carry you the viewer along with my crazy mind. My installations should be understood as processes of release, where my ideas finally flow out in a simple and fluid visual form.
“I love the energy in plastic and cloth and these materials primarily drive almost all my art produce.
“If my work stops you in your track, then that’s it for me!”
EFE PAUL AZINO, poet, spoken word artist
Born and raised on the sub-urban streets of Lagos, Efe Paul Azino has evolved a poetry uniquely his own. His poems are welcomed in the realm of academia and acclaimed on the streets.
Widely regarded as one of Nigeria’s leading Spoken Word Poets, Efe Paul has been a headline performer in many of the nation’s premier performance poetry venues, including Anthill 2.0 and Taruwa. For over a decade, Efe has continued to deliver Spoken Word Poetry locally and internationally, gracing platforms at seminars, workshops, conferences, tertiary institutions, community development fora, as well as churches.
Reflecting the sufferings evident in numerous African societies and the hope that keeps them going, Efe Paul’s poems resonate with the high and the low, cutting across social and religious boundaries. His poems are centered on socio-economic and political themes and are enhanced by a strong voice, keeping his audiences entranced for the full length of his performances.
A one-time member of the Editorial Board of The Effective Manager Monthly, pioneer Editor of Mageuzi Magazine and Next Generation, a monthly newspaper dedicated to raising youth awareness on socio-economic and political issues, Efe Paul is a vital contributor to national discourse and his essays are featured in national and international dailies and journals. A curious student of life, his readings and learning span various disciplines.
The voice of a generation, a seeker and speaker of truth, an entertaining poet and performer, Efe Paul leads a generation of poets in successfully lifting poetry off the printed page, out of the shadows of academia and making it accessible to the people.
Efe Paul is the founder and director of the Lagos International Poetry Festival now in its second year.