Story: Ehidiamen Blessing Obehi Photo: Ken Ehimen
Art Twenty One, a 600 sqm space and platform dedicated to contemporary art in Lagos, Nigeria, located at Eko Hotel & Suites in Victoria Island, has set up a medium where talented Artists can display their works. The platform is called Breaking News.
Breaking News, a platform curated by Joseph Gergel, is also a group exhibition that explores the politics and mechanisms of the mass media, and also questions how information is disseminated, how fact is constructed and how social and political life are filtered through the lens of the culture industry.
Artists, who major in painting, drawing, photography, video and installation, are privileged to showcase their works. The exhibition focuses on the theme of communication, and investigates the influence of media on the society.
Among participating artists are: Jakob S. Boeskov and Teco Benson, Obinna Makata, Nativr Maqari, Abraham Oghobase, Bob-Nosa Uwagboe, Chibuike Uzoma and Uche Uzorka.
According to a release issued by Art Twenty One “These Artists question not only the content of the news but it’s very framework, portraying how the media shape the society and define who we are? Artists form a self-reflexive view of the media, either criticizing current events or its distribution in newspapers, television and the internet by identifying how it forms our personal and collective worldview”.
Through their works, “These Artists criticize divergent social and political issues in Nigeria, from violence and government corruption to Nollywood and popular consumer trends. They look at how Nigeria is defined in the local and global news media, and how cultural myths are articulated and perpetuated. These Artists cut, crops and shred the vernacular news archive, a literal and symbolic act of destruction. Rather than succumb to the commercial pressures of the media industry, they create a visual language to portray new perspectives and alternative narratives.
With the aim to create discussion through art, these artists are basically asking “Are we melting into the static of our technological screens, or is there still room for technological screens or is there still room for individuality in our new media world?”
The event, which kicked off on April 30, 2016, is expected to run through to June 22, 2016.