Promoting Creativity

Peju Alatise, Flying Girls. Nigerian Pavilion at the 2017 Venice Biennale. Photographer: Ibeabuchi Benson.



Nigeria unveiled its first ever national Pavilion at the 57th Venice Arte Biennale. The inaugural pavilion titled How About NOW? explores ideas of identity and belonging through the work of three leading Nigerian artists: Peju Alatise, Victor Ehikhamenor and Qudus Onikeku.

The immersive installation at Scoletta dei Battioro e dei Tiraoro' Campo San Stae 1980, on the Grand Canal, includes performance film, sculpture and painting, and celebrates Nigeria's rich artistic heritage and cultural talent. Each of the three artists has interpreted the overarching theme How About NOW? exploring the past and present of Nigerian identity on the art world's biggest global stage. Invoking themes of history, fantasy, and memory, alongside more fundamental concerns related to nationhood and self-awareness, the artists' work is an immediate conversation on contemporary Nigeria - a moment in time dictated by a colonial past, but also refracted through the lens of ideological possibilities. The pavilion is curated by Adenrele Sonariwo, director of RELE Gallery, Lagos, and critically-acclaimed writer Emmanuel Iduma.

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