TAFETA SCOPE BASEL 2017
Niyi Olagunju b. 1981, Sagamu, Nigeria Lives & works in London
Adeniyi ‘Niyi’ Olagunju holds a National Diploma in General Art from Yaba College of Technology, Lagos and a BA Fine Arts (Hons) degree from St. Anne’s College, University of Oxford, UK with concentrations in Art History, Studio Art and Visual Theory. He was one of the privileged few to benefit from the Oxford University Scholarship between 2006 – 2009. He then went on to Texas Christian University (“TCU”) in Fort Worth, Texas, USA where he obtained a MA Fine Arts with specialisation in Sculpture.
Prior to his degree in Oxford, Niyi served with the British Army from 2002-2006, with service postings in Basra, Iraq & Northern Ireland. A practicing studio artist with exhibitions accross three continents, from 2011 to late 2015, he served as a Special Assistant to the Honourable Minister of State, FCT, Nigeria where he was tasked with the responsibility of formulating and implementing Social Development initiatives to strengthen the FCT’s Arts & Culture commitment.
TAFETA SCOPE BASEL 2017
I was at SCOPE art fair in Basel and saw Niyi’s artwork EKPIRI inside the TAFETA gallery booth and had to know more about it. I am so happy that I can share his story and work with you.
“the first time I saw ekpiri seeds was during the Ofala festival in Onitsha. Dancers and performers would use them as percussion instruments during the annual celebrations.
I’ve always loved the art of joining one thing to another or of creating something new from objects that had a different function or purpose. The vision for my latest series is to take something small—the ekpiri seed pods —and create a piece that’s over 8 feet tall. It’s an ongoing investigation into the connection between culture and visual art. How Igbo traditional musical instruments fit into my artistic conversation.”
Adeniyi Olagunju February, 2017
TAFETA SCOPE BASEL 2017
Adeniyi ‘Niyi’ Olagunju’s CV
1981 Sagamu, Nigeria
2011 MFA, Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, Texas, USA
2009 BFA Fine Art, University of Oxford
2000 National Diploma in General Art, Yaba College of Technology, Lagos Nigeria
2017 1:54 Contemporary Art Fair, New York NY 2017 Niyi Olagunju | Newish
2016 1:54 Contemporary Art Fair, Somerset House, London
2016 African Art: The Market Now, JP Morgan, Canary Wharf, London
2016 Enwonwu & Olagunju, TAFETA, London UK
2016 1:54 Contemporary Art Fair, Pioneer Works, Brooklyn New York NY
2011 MULTIPLE BARTER: The house has fallen, Gallery at TCU, Fort Worth TX
2011 The Hand That Feeds Me: TCU/MFA/500X, 500X Gallery, Dallas, Texas
2010 Africa Art Now: Contemporary Art from Africa and the African Diaspora, London
2010 Structures of Trade, FRED London
2010 “Transmission”, Fort Worth Contemporary Arts, Fort Worth, Texas, USA.
2009 Showdown, 414, Fort Worth Texas, USA
2009 Degree Show, Oxford, UK.
2008 20 Eventi, Poggio Moiano, Sabina, Italy
2008 Box Ladder, Modern Art Oxford, UK. 2007 My Culture, Morgan Stanley HQ, London,UK.
2007 The journey so far, Mary Ogilvie Gallery, Oxford, UK
1999 ADSA 99, Yusuf Grillo Gallery, Yaba College of Technology, Lagos, Nigeria
2011 Outstanding Student Achievement in Contemporary Sculpture Award, ISC, New Jersey 2007 Outstanding Achievement in photography, International Society Photographer
2006 Winner of the Oxford University Photography Societys annual Competition.
2004 Military Medal: OSM Northern Ireland Medal 2004
2003 Military Medal: ODM Iraq Medal
2003 Membership and Affiliation
Nigeria Leadership Initiative (Associate) Society of Nigerian Artists (S.N.A) Royal Engineer Association
TAFETA SCOPE BASEL 2017
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION
Ayo Adeyinka // TAFETA
47 – 50 Margaret Street London W1W 8SB
+44 7811 435 626
ayo @ tafeta.com
The Meeting of Light and Earthly Gravitations and other works
by Senam Okudzeto
I had the pleasure to see Senams latest works and want to share it with all of you. Most of the pieces are very very fragile and delicate. She is showing during Art Basel on SATURDAY between 12 and 5 pm at Projektraum Bollag at Gärtnerstrasse 50 4057 Basel. Otherwise she is showing by appointment only. In case you want to see her work, and can not come on Saturday, please email her to senam.info (@) gmail.com
Senam Okudzeto works with a wide range of media, including social sculpture, installation, painting, film, and text in her methodological “Afro-Dada” practice; an ongoing exploration of material culture which presents unexpected juxtapositions of objects and images in the context of West Africa’s modernist narratives and her fluid identity as an African who is of European of U.S. American descent.
The Meeting of Light and Earthly Gravitations
The Meeting of Light and Earthly Gravitations (2016–2017), is to be read as a complex and articulate system relating specifically to the artist’s experience of being in Rome for a year-long fellowship at the American Academy. This work is a part of her ongoing “Afro-Dada Glossolalia” project, and contemplates the question of what might be left of the soul of a being, and also of an object, as it travels through time, space and changing cultural contexts
The piece contains a number of references, ranging from the paintings of Caravaggio through to early Byzantine readings of crystal and the preponderance of “carciofi” in everyday Roman life. The video component depicts the annual Pentecost service at the Pantheon church in Rome, which ends with the congregation being showered in rose petals, which are scattered through the iconic oculus of the building. The petals metaphorically reference the “gifts of spirit”- speaking in tongues that Pentecost celebrates, but the ceremony’s origins predate Christianity to early pagan Rosalia festivals.
Okudzeto’s work attempts a powerful mapping system; derived from the idea that memory, time, space and distance could be described through objects as a series of encounters with events. This work takes its departure point from an earlier multi-media installation; Portes-Oranges, (2003-2007) and is a re-working of a previous installation of The Meeting of Light and Earthly Gravitations (2016), which was shown at the American Academy in Rome at the exhibition Cinque Mostre (2016).
The Meeting of Light and Earthly Gravitations
Senam Okudzeto (b. 1972, Chicago) lives and works between Basel, London and Accra. Okudzeto has a Bachelors degree in Fine Arts from the Slade School of Fine Art, University College London (1995), and a Masters degree in Painting from the Royal College of Art, London, (1997). She completed the Independent Study Program at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2000) and is a PhD candidate in the program of Cultural Studies at Birkbeck College, University of London.
Her work was featured at Dada Afrika, Museum Rietberg (2016), the 14th Istanbul Biennale, Istanbul Modern (2015), the Menil Collection, Houston, (2012), the ICA, Boston (2011), the Stedlejik Museum Bureau, Amsterdam (2011), PS1 MoMA (2007), Africa Remix: Contemporary Art of a Continent, Centre Georges Pompidou, Musée National d’Art Moderne, Paris (2005); and Freestyle, The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York (2001).
Okudzeto has published numerous peer reviewed essays and texts in publications such as the Journal of Atlantic Studies (Routledge, 2012), Grey Room (Spring 2008) and Art Journal (2009). She was the first artist to serve on the editorial board of the CAA publication Art Journal and has taught academic and fine arts courses in Europe, the USA and West Africa, including the Kunsthistorisches Seminar, University of Basel, The International Summer Academy, Salzburg, NYU Study abroad campus, Accra, CCA Lagos and the Fachhochschule Nordwestschweiz, Basel. She is the founder and director of Art in Social Structures (AiSS), an artist-led NGO that supports education and heritage initiatives in architecture, visual culture and the arts in Ghana.
Okudzeto is the recipient of several fellowships and awards including, a research fellowship at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA (2003 – 2004) and the Edith Bloom/Jesse Howard Junior Fellowship at the American Academy in Rome (2015 – 2016).
The Meeting of Light and Earthly Gravitations (2016), and other works
Hand-blown lead crystal, leather, UV glue, iron sculptures, oranges, wood, electric cables, gaffer tape, metal post card rack, acrylic ink drawings on paper, metal ladder, foam, LED light bulbs and lamps, video; 3:48 mins, (NTSC) 4:3, (loop).
this years VOLTA I wanna focus very much on the works of BONNIE MAYGARDEN, a talented multimedia artist who received her MFA in Studio Arts from Tulane University and attended Pratt Institute in New York, where she received her Bachelor’s of Fine Arts.
when I heard that Bonnie Maygarden is going to be showing her work at the AESOP shop in BASEL and that I can write about it on the blog I felt very honored for two reasons. firstly its awesome to have the work of such a great young artist in Basel and secondly that I can interview Bonnie and ask her a bit more about the piece she is showing in Basel. so after this blogpost there will be a follow up where I can tell and show you more about the AESOP exhibition.
MORE ABOUT BONNIE MAYGARDEN (*1987)
Bonnie Maygardens work has been featured in exhibitions both nationally and internationally in various museums, galleries and alternative venues including: Université Lumière Lyons (Lyons, France), Pratt Institute, Icosahedron Gallery (New York City), East Hall Gallery (Brooklyn), SALTWORKS (Atlanta), The Front (New Orleans) and New Orleans Creative Center for the Arts where she attended high school. several notable publications have featured Maygarden’s work; including, Gambit Weekly, NOLA DEFENDER, and INVADE NOLA. curator and art critic Tori Bush featured Maygarden’s Master’s thesis exhibition “Hyper Real” in her May 2013 artist spotlight. she also received an honorable mention for her work in UNO Visual Arts Leagues Juried Exhibition in 2013 from Miranda Lash, curator of Contemporary Art at the Speed Museum and former curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the New Orleans Museum of Art. her work was reviewed in ArtForum and Burnaway for her inclusion in “Staring at the Sun” curated by Craig Drennan. Maygardens paintings were also featured in New American Paintings (No. 112, June/July Issue) concurrently with her premier solo exhibition at Jonathan Ferrara Gallery entitled “Desert of the Real”. she will also be featured in the forthcoming Issue No. 124. her work was selected for the Ogden Museum of Southern Art’s third annual LA Contemporary Juried Exhibition, juried by Jonathan P. Binstock of Citi Private Bank Art Advisory & Finance. she has been exhibited nationally at art fairs including: Pulse New York, Miami project for Art Basel Miami Beach, Texas Contemporary, Art Market San Francisco, and the Seattle Art Fair with an upcoming showcase at VOLTA12 Basel (Switzerland) this summer. following Volta, her work will also be featured in EXCHANGE, an international exhibition at Galerie Jochen Hempel, Berlin. also forthcoming, Maygarden has also been awarded a position at the Slade for the London Summer Intensive Residency Program 2016. her work appears in the collections of former LACMA curator and current Perez Art Museum director Franklin Sirmans (Miami), private collectors Lester Marks (Houston), Myrna Kaplan (Chicago) and Susan and Ralph Brennan (New Orleans), and corporate collections of Advantage Capital Management Corporation, RPM Casting and University Medical Center (New Orleans). Maygarden has been commissioned for Hollywood feature films by several production companies including: ABC Studios, Flashfire Productions, Danni Productions, Georgia Film Fund Seven, Abby Normal Pictures, Lamb Productions, Furlined, LLC and The Goats, LLC.
“I create paintings without the aid of technology, yet I am interested in making works that are informed by and react to a culture defined by a digital experience. My work references familiar technology-created images, such as photography, x-rays, or Photoshop filters, yet are created only using the meticulous illusion of paint. Through referencing the digital image I am able to make paintings that walk the line between something and nothing, that both play to our expectations of the disposable contemporary image and the valued tradition of the handmade.”
as you just read in the text above, Maygarden is having a run. I really appreciate the color sensitivity in her artworks and am a huge fan of her patterns. the pieces that I am showing in this post have a great depth and an almost relief-like appearance. her work reminds me a lot of fabric and tissues. another impression that her artpieces leave on me is the feeling of nature and landscape, I somehow think of the swiss alps and the relief maps of them.
in case you are in Basel you should definately pass by the AESOP shop at Spalenberg 24 that is showing her art work in the window. (from now until end of VOLTA12). stay tuned for my next blogpost where I will tell you more about her works for AESOP.
more about BONNIE MAYGARDEN here:
hi all, today I want to present to you Cristians tiny art piece, part of a series, that is called idols. he started recently to work with clay, a material he did not use before. he somehow felt the need to create this type of prehistorical figures, in his perspective almost archetypes of human representation. he is interested in re-evaluating through the use of a very ancient material, contemporary ways of expressing very basic human feelings, questions and symbols.
I hope you guys liked it. until next time I keep my eyes on something nice! have a lovely day! X
STURTEVANT was born in ohio (USA) and made the first years of her artists life working in new york where she began in 1965 to manually reproduce paintings and objects created by her contemporaries with results that can immediately be identified with an original – closely enough to intrigue the viewer and raise the fundamental question, what am I looking at? reflection, thinking, and analysis is the core of her work, from the paintings of the late 1960’s to the most recent videos and installations. there is a famous Sturtevant maxim that runs, “negative definition is a very powerful philosophical position.” during the era of pop-art sturtevant made her version of warhol’s flowers, john’s flags, stella’s black and grey paintings and developed this discourse a decade later after moving to paris, with works based on marcel duchamp, joseph beuys and anselm kiefer. in the last two decades sturtevant has evolved a highly structured and rigorous exploration of current events making multi-screen video works, and installations exposing the simulacrum that is as much an attack on arts media/advertising dimension as the corrupt power structures that surround it.
In 2010 sturtevant had an important exhibition titled The Razzle Dazzle of Thinking at the musee moderne de la ville de paris. the artist was awarded The Golden Lion award for lifetime achievement at the venice biennale in 2011. the moderne museet, stockholm presented an exhibition curated by daniel birnbaum in march 2012 which moved afterwards to the kunsthaus zurich.
On may 7, 2014 Elaine Sturtevant passed away in paris where she worked and lived since the 1990s. her timeless work and unique contribution to contemporary art in connection to other intellectual discourses will forever be reflected in future avant-garde generations.
in 2014/2014, the MMK museum für moderne kunst in frankfurt am main (Germany), the albertina in venna (Austria) as well as the hamburger bahnhof in berlin (Germany) presented a comprehensive survey of her works on paper, titled Sturtevant, drawing double reversal.
in the USA, the museum of modern art new york and the museum of contemporary art LA honoured Sturtevant with a retrospective bringing together over 50 key artworks from all periods and in almost every medium in which she worked.
mmhhmm, candies.. it was hard not to take one : ) and guess what I know someone who did, in fact many people did but still that doesnt mean that I have to take one too. anyways, I really like this piece and I absolutely love STURTEVANTs work.
at this very moment I am flying to Sicily for one week of vacation – and I thought that this is the perfect art piece to show today. blue like the sea or like the sunny summer sky. in case you wanna stay up to date with what I am doing then please check my SOCIAL MEDIA category. you will find all the twitter, instagram and facebook posts. stay tuned. X
FOOD FOR THOUGHT ‘Almuallaqat’ 2014
maha malluh is a saudi artist, born in the traditional region of najd, who explores the challenges of modernity that have come so overwhelmingly to saudi arabia. she has exhibited since 1976 and has in later years acquired a BA in english literature and a californian certificate in design and photography. continuous in her artwork, that started with collages and developed into photograms, is her use of symbolic and real imagery to express her opinion about life in saudi arabia.
seen at Art Basel Unlimited via GALERIE KRINZINGER (Vienna, Austria)
“Used aluminium cooking pots from around Saudi Arabia. Sizes vary from pots that fit a leg of lamb to those that fit three camels.
Arab culture is a predominantly literary one, with the Spoken Word being an intrinsic part of the Arab cultural mindset. From the dawn of Arab history and civilization, the oral literature of the region has dominated the cultural scene. It is the pride of every Arab. This is not to say that the visual culture was not important, yet it did not have the same value as the Spoken Word.
As I am interested in the visual culture of our region, and the immense impact globalization has had and is still having on our part of the world, I often find myself contemplating these very significant issues.
To try and come to terms with this shift, from primarily oral to visual culture, which has also come with the rise of the museum institutions, art galleries and fairs in the past decade, this works attempts to create a platform where the literary and the visual are both celebrated and hung.
Old aluminium pots, these ones here which have come from various flea markets around Saudi Arabia, have been used throughout history by Arabs both at home in urban areas, in Bedouin tents, and also more recently in restaurants, as cooking vessels. The sizes of these pots vary, with some able to hold as much as 3 camels. As such these pots held one of the most prized animals of the desert, the camel, in order to feed guests and customers. But with food comes other narratives, other stories, other histories, histories of travel, or adventure, of change, anecdotes and comic tales which people discuss over food. These pots are therefore a celebration of Arab history, of Arab traditions of hospitality as well as of a visual reproduction of personal histories.
The title of this work, is Food for Thought ‘Al-Muallaqat’, a reference to the great muallaqat, or ‘Hanging Odes’, canonical Arabic poems by great pre-Islamic or jahili poets from Arabia that once were hanging on the Ka’ba in Mecca. Unfortunately, these canonical Arabic poems are studied and read as being part of a lost heritage, a past golden age which bears to reflection on our modern realities as Saudi Arabians. This is also met with astonishing records as to the percentage of the reading public in the Arab world.
Thus, what this work calls out for is a reconnection with our literary heritage, but using the visual medium to do so in order to communicate with the rest of the world. Therefore, these hanging pots are both a salute to our literary heritage, as well as being a testament to our current need for everything visual. These pots speak of our revived archaeological search for our visual heritage, our culture that has been in the shadows of our literary heritage for so long. Without dismissing the significance and aesthetic beauty of the original muallaqat, this work both acknowledges the position poetry has in Arab culture and heritage, whilst simultaneously allowing for an engaging visual dialogue with the remainder of the world.”
TEN HAAF PROJECTS
VOLTA ART FAIR 2015 BOOTH C22
Delighted we take a step closer. Art: carefree and radiant as it draws us in. Ah, linger on, thou art so fair! My obtrusiveness is of the type that demands nothing of you, but a quick flash of your life before your eyes showing your entertainment, which does not cost you anything. Instead, it is life- enhancing. Come and step even closer. Now is where it may get precarious. You should know that not every harmless work of art is as harmless as it may seem. It may in fact belong to a rather perfidious genre. One could even call these the Venus flytraps of art. The works done by Sebastian Weggler pertain to this insidious sort.
At first glance, Weggler’s work appears to be full of wit, variation and an abundance of ideas. This is seen in both it’s content and the material that has been used, which enables the viewers’ curiosity to draw them closer without any inhibitions. The array of media that has been used ranges from oil on canvas, with the utilization of postage stamps as a colour carrier and the application of felt, to video art. In this context, one can speak of a dissimilar consequence. As different as the individual media may appear, their choice is stringent. Based on the seemingly classic oil painting, at least the related implications of it, Sebastian Weggler developed material realms that are connected with mass-production. He transfers them into art and thus into singularity. His work addresses the tension between the industrial manufacture and working by hand. These then touch on the challenges of the industrial revolution. Art is still haunted by this today, without having to push with all vehemence to the fore. It is this approach that gives the work done by Weggler such great quality. The viewer is attracted by the material used and the topics that evoke a degree of familiarity between the viewer and the work itself. It in turn exceeds the realm of art. The combination of the visibly enticing discoveries and simple surfaces of his work silently reveal a deeper level of meaning. The viewer can then probe this of their own accord. Where other artists insist on the arti- stic character or the industrial production of their work, Weggler sub- mitted oscillation, where there are no either nor proposals. He turns everything into art.
The question of what came first, the medium and its possibilities or what is being depicted, has proven to be secondary in the work of Sebastian Weggler. The concept that is persued in the medium is also extended into the area of visual perception. In the history of art, felt is known as being the material used for carpets. When one looks beyond this, its connection to every day life will come to the fore. At an upstream level, this type of presentation marked a sphere of influence for art. This ambivalence continues into the individual work and allows for various associations to be made. It allows for the content level of various themes, with very “manly” connotations, to be recognized. They may be identified with hunting, meat and death and in the first instance, the way in which they are displayed suggests a broad-minded naivety. This enables
the viewer to indulge in its humour. At the same time the work can be understood as a modular construction system. The time and again new com- bination of the individual set pieces creates cohesion and difference. A Weggler is always a Weggler and this should be taken literally. One can simply see this by the inflation of Sebastian Weggler’s Self-Portrait work. This kind of branding is self-promotion taken to the extreme and in its mass it overcomes itself. The artist, who is in the picture multiple times with a scenery that is both mundane and eye-catching, sells himself a carpet. As an artist, he also shows the viewer a carpet. The means in which Weggler’s work echoes the traditional tapestry has led him to being a hero of his own work. This hero is however, one who eats a piece of bread with “Blutwurst” on it. He establishes himself through duplication of his unselfconsciousness seen by his viewers, in that the character of the artist becomes a replacement for those who disappear into themselves.
The humour intertwined into the work done by Weggler is established on two levels. When describing the first level, a strong defining level of individual work owed to its barefacedness, as being witty, you should also imply it with the mind. The second level, which clearly comes to the surface when the view-point is placed on various works, as well as the shop situation that is presented by Sebastian Weggler. This can then be called humour. Another example is Weggler’s video work. Here he not only touches on video games and thus on the modified, but also the distinctly leisure behaviour of his generation. To a greater degree he ci- tes the cliché of art videos, which is done by a demonstration of the manifestation of their maddening slowness and lack of action. In com- bination with the extreme increase of self-representation, there is an honest and caring critique dispute between the art and the commercialisation structure. They always operate on an equal footing and the reason for the dispute is never ridiculed. Its absurdity leads the viewer to repeatedly see it with subtle humour.
You should therefore not find it troubling if someone recommends get caught in the sticky teeth of a Venus flytrap, as it may very well be a Weggler flytrap. If it is one, you’re bound to instantly recognize the next one you see. You won’t be able to free yourself from the first Weggler and thus are bound to walk with great delight into the next one. A Weggler is after all, a Weggler.
(text: Julia Gerber – translation: Kelly Robinson-Treutler)
this is the newest SAMSUNG #galaxyalpha phone with the lovely flower case by JULIAN ZIGERLI. as I mentioned before I am very oldschool when it comes to organisation and thats why I still prefere to use my FILOFAX instead of my iCAL 🙂 I think the combination of new and old makes it for me. for instance I read my mails on my phone and then note the event and info into my haptic planner. like this I wont forget and I hate nothing more than my phone sending me notifications and reminders about doing something 🙂 I rather have a look at my FILOFAX everyday and see what there is going on.
Dushka was attending the event in ZH and had an amazing time. she took lots of photos and I will upload these photos seperately to my FB page and will put the link « here »
thats what she told me about the event: “the whole event was very mysterious as nobody had any idea what the YOU ARE ALPHA invitation meant. dresscode was either black or white. DUSHKA went for black and was wearing the gorgeous black LANVIN dress with a nice BALLY coat. she was picked up by a handsome black dressed gentlemen and was lead to the location where she was welcomed by gorgeously dressed ladies into another galaxy. thats when she was given the new ALPHA phone that had already have a personal message for her. the catering was superbe and there was a DJ playing on top of an ice sculpture.”
julianzigerli – thanks for the lovely phone cases! xx
Galerie Greta Meert
this is one of my favorite pieces of the Art Unlimited exhibition. I love the contrast between the very rich and the very pure and the matte and shiny parts.