The biggest annual art fair in West Africa rounded up this Sunday. Galleries from within the host country, Nigeria, and those from far across the world were all in attendance.
In fact: 110 artists represented by 31 different galleries made it the largest edition of the international fair to date.
If you have not been able to attend the fair yourself, we recommend you check out our extensive coverage as an official media partner on our Instagram page.
- Here are works from EACH gallery in attendance: https://www.instagram.com/artnewsafrica/?hl=en
- And interviews with the gallerists in attendance: https://www.instagram.com/artnewsafrica/reels/?hl=en
In addition, there are 5 highlights we want to share with you from the event:
1. Victor Ehikhamenor’s installation; Ulin-nóifo, The Lineage That Never Ends
In the words of Victor, “With the emergence of intercontinental trade between Europe and Africa, Benin City became an important port for the exchange of goods. Red kernels, peppers, and ivories were traded for clothes, corals, and bronzes. These objects were charged with new meanings and acquired prominence in the royal court; serving as markers of sumptuary laws, value systems, as well as cultural and artistic practices in the Benin Kingdom.”
The installation was deeply immersive and transformative. With true homage to the Benin culture and the use of the red rosary beads, sounds, and bronze.
2. Ranti Bam, who through her painting and clay sculptures, presented a performance project Sowing Seeds In Heartland.
Her installation is in response to the fair’s theme this year, ‘Who will gather Under the Baobab Tree?” Bam’s performance was titled, “Sowing Seeds in Heartland”. This demonstrated the symbolic link between the Baobab tree and her hearths.
Art X Lagos on the performance: “Her performance acted out the connection between humans and their environment, both of which are fragile yet resilient. Bam, along with a group of women built unfired clay vessels filled with soil and seeds. From the disintegration of these forms, new crops will bloom. In the breaking down of the vessels, we are asked to consider how a relationship with nature can break down often violent mechanical and ideological structures, in order to facilitate new growth and healing.”
3. Linda Dounia’s digital artificial intelligence installation Once Upon A Garden.
Dounia is a self-taught artist, born and raised in Senegal. The artist’s installation tries to answer questions such as, “What has been the impact of contemplating nature, particularly flowers, in Africa?” with the use of Artificial Intelligence.
“I used the GAN’s initial outputs of 8,000 plant images to create animations for each individual plant and brought them together in the final composition – a digital garden of 28 flowers as seen during the day and at night from the collaboration between the mind’s eye of the AI and mine. During this process, it dawned on me that a majority of the plants I used in this project were completely new to me and that, in general, I grew up seeing less than half of the plant species my grandmother grew up seeing. I also realized that while some of the extinct plant species I worked with survive in their digital embodiment on the internet, the ones that weren’t recorded and digitized are entirely lost to both human and digital consciousness.” the artist explains.
4. There will be 2 Art X Prize winners this year:
The first of its kind in Art X history, there will be 2 winners. Stay tuned for the winners – we will let you know who comes out victorious! One from Lagos and another winner from Africa/ the diaspora. Both will be awarded a $10,000 grant each, an exhibition in the following Art X Lagos fair, as well as 3-month residencies. The winner from Nigeria will be admitted into Gasworks, London. The African/Diasporan winner will receive admittance into, Yinka Shonibare’s G.A.S Foundation in Lagos, Nigeria.
The panelists of judges include:
- Alessio Antoniolli (Director, Gasworks & The Triangle Network)
- Dr. Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung (Artistic Director, SAVVY Contemporary)
- Gabi Ncgobo (Artist and Curatorial Director, Javett Art Centre (Javett-UP), University of Pretoria)
- Maria Varnava (Founder, Tiwani Contemporary)
- Professor Peju Layiwola (Artist and Historian)
- Victor Ehikhamenor (Artist).