17 aprile 2024

NIGERIA IMAGINARY 60th International Art Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia Nigerian Pavilion 20.4 – 24.11.2024


Nigeria Imaginary – curated by Aindrea Emelife and featuring Tunji Adeniyi-Jones, Ndidi Dike, Onyeka Igwe, Toyin Ojih-Odutola, Abraham Oghobase, Precious Okoyomon, Yinka Shonibare CBE RA and Fatimah Tuggar – takes inspiration from two points of departure. The exhibition explores the role of both great moments in Nigeria’s history – moments of optimism; and the Nigeria of the mind—a Nigeria that could be and is yet to be. Presenting different perspectives,  constructed ideas, memories, and nostalgias of Nigeria, Nigeria Imaginary leverages an intergenerational, multi-disciplinary lens to imagine a Nigeria for the future. These voices are articulated via diverse mediums, from painting, photography, and sculpture, to AR, sound, and film. Nigeria Imaginary is also a restless investigation of the past. Drawing on the model of the Mbari clubs of post-independence Nigeria, Nigeria Imaginary also presents historical artefacts and ephemera to immerse the viewer in a rich cross-section of Nigerian material culture. The Mbari were designed as a “laboratory for ideas”, serving as sites for the paradoxical entanglements of folkloric myths, experiences of colonial modernity, moral education, and utopian fantasy. Their creators considered art making a duty to a burgeoning nation and a vital public matter. It is here where Mbari and Nigeria Imaginary shake hands, passing on this duty to a new school of artists to reimagine a nation once more.