“This year’s show really looks at the individuality of the artists working right now in Lagos… and focuses on those that are eschewing categorisation,” states art curator Faridah Folawiyo, who has returned to Lagos with the audacious goal of widening conversations and participation in the contemporary art scene in Africa.
Her co-creator in this year’s edition of ART X Live! is Lanre Masha, reprising his role as curator and overseeing the selection of musical artists for this much anticipated element of ART X Lagos. Masha is excited about this year’s offering and how the creative brief will be interpreted: “Our goal is for our audience to experience live music and visual art – music is what our emotions sound like, and art is how we visually decode our emotions, so they are forever interconnected.”
ART X Lagos’ cultural mandate of using contemporary art as a catalyst for social change – working strategically with creatives across disciplines to reflect back, reimagine, celebrate, and even protest what it is to be African today – has made it a must-see in the global art show calendar in a relatively short space of time. Whilst Folawiyo and Masha both concede that art is often viewed as elitist, as a young organisation, there are windows of opportunity to subvert international art fair conventions.
“[ART X Live!] is a part of the fair that is quite experimental and doesn’t really subscribe to the typical rules of the art world. At its core, ART X Live! exists in its own rebellious space.
The artists chosen to distil this year’s overarching theme of ‘Art in Life | Life through Art’ are Dafe Oboro and Joy Matashi. Folawiyo chose them “… mainly because of their hybrid approaches.” She continues, “Dafe has a way of combining documentary with this very cinematic style, a way of making you feel familiar with Lagos but also showing you so many things you don’t recognise. With Joy, her collage practice really centres on hybridity, looking at vernacular African forms and putting them on the pedestal they deserve, but also recognising their relationship to global movements.” For the musicians acting as compliment, Masha promises “new artists that fit the brand and are unique in their own way.” “I love this part of the process because we get to find amazing talent and give them a platform to shine,” he comments.
Collaboration remains at the heart of both Folawiyo and Masha’s practice, both in this project and beyond. They are representative of a new way of working in the creative industries across Africa. A methodology that places community building and self-actualisation via stewardship of one’s individual and collective stories at its heart.
An article by Mazzi Odu
Featured Image : Guest at ART X Live! 2018 Photo credit : Manny Jefferson
This article was written for The Art Momentum | ART X Lagos 2019 Artpaper. [French version inside]
Articles are published in their original language | Les articles sont publiés dans leur langue d’origine