Otobong NKANGA (1974, Kano, Nigeria) is a visual artist and performance artist based in Antwerp, Belgium. She studied at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Osun State, Nigeria, Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux Arts in Paris, and the Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten, Amsterdam, and completed Advanced Studies in the Performing Arts at the DasArts, Amsterdam, Netherlands. Nkanga’s multidisciplinary practice spans drawing, photography, installation, video and performance, and focuses on the interrelation between environment, architecture and history. They weave together concerns about land, natural resources, architecture, the value connected to them and the dynamic status of remembrance. Her trans-categorical artistic practice is defined by her ability to pervade the complex layers of human and natural traces left in material objects and landscapes. Architecture and landscape act as a sounding board for narration and “the performative”, as a human trace that testifies of ways of living and environmental issues. In 2013 -2014, she was a guest of the DAAD Berliner Künstlerprogramm – Artists-in- Berlin Program. Nkanga’s recent solo presentations have taken place at Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive; M KHA, Antwerp; Portikus, Frankfurt; Kadist Art Foundation, Paris; and the Performance Room at Tate Modern, London. She has been included in many international group exhibitions, such as the 13th Biennale de Lyon (2015), 31st São Paulo Biennial (2014), the 8th Berlin Biennale (2014), and Sharjah Biennal 11 (2013). Last year, she was the distinguished recipient of the 2015 Yanghyun Prize.

 

Landversation

“Landversation” begins with three handcrafted tables as surfaces and vehicles to support, not only locally sourced materials and objects, but more significantly, conversation. These exchanges are animated by different groups, communities and individuals who have a deep connection to “land.” Land extends beyond soil, territories, earth, etc. and relates to our connectivity and conflicts in relation to the spaces we live in and how humans try to find solutions through simple gestures of innovation and repair. Crises of environment, health and social systems have exposed the gaps and fractures we have towards land, culture and society. In turn, such fractures affect the possible conversation that can take place within the land we live. As relationships with nature and people become affected, how can we find a platform to share, learn, exchange and heal? This question is the starting point for “Landversation.” Initiated first by artist Otobong Nkanga in São Paulo, Brazil (2014) and Beirut, Lebanon (2016), “Landversation” in Shanghai has been developed in collaboration with architect Adib Dada, producer Helena Ramos, ecopsychologist Peter Webb and a broad network of interlocutors (lawyers, land activists, urban planners, urban farmers, geologists) from Shanghai. “Landversation” is platform to connect different groups of people and individuals to have personal conversations with the public, specific communities and visitors to the Shanghai Project.

 

 

COUNTRY

Belgium/Nigeria

CATEGORY

Performance, Visual Art

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