The 2019 edition of ART X Lagos presents several major changes, including the inauguration of the first Performance Art Pavilion. This new section, curated by Lagos-based artist Wura-Natasha Ogunji, presents ‘small acts’ – three live performances showcasing new works by Nigerian artists Ngozi Schommers, Ecap Eps, and Taiwo Aiyedogbon.
N.H : According to some historians, the origin of performance art resides in the practice of rituals, observed in different ways across cultures. Would you say that performance is an art form that is appreciated and understood by the general public, and how would you define this particular medium?
W-N.O : I think performance is very much understood by the public, especially here in Nigeria. Performative rituals, dances, and gatherings are part of our daily lives, from the market to the masquerade. Within an art context we can think about performance – sometimes referred to as Live Art – as a medium that engages the body of the artist as the primary material.
“There is no separation between the performance, the performer, the audience, and the memory of the performance.”
N.H : What was your approach in preparing your curatorial proposal, and why did you choose these three artists?
W-N.O : During these times, it’s important to highlight the connection between art and ethics, as well as how people make courageous decisions in the midst of extraordinary circumstances. Artists are often the ones who challenge societal norms. We speak up, question, and see things that others might not see as important. Ngozi Schommers, Ecap Eps, and Taiwo Aiyedogbon create performances which boldly and poetically question what’s going on.
N.H : Performance is, in essence, an impermanent art that leaves little trace. In your opinion, is it necessar y to concentrate on the result of the act, the process or conduct of an act, or the behavior of the audience?
W-N.O : There is no separation between the performance, the performer, the audience, and the memory of the performance. It’s all part of the experience of the piece, which may live on through the physical archive of photographs or videos or writing. But we might also think about the strength of the memory and the story that we continue to tell about the performance. This is often the most powerful part of the experience.
N.H : From your personal experience and artistic practice, would you say that artistic performance, in its visual and political intention, shows innovative ways of considering the world we live in?
Absolutely. Innovation is at the heart of the creative act.
An article by Nadine Hounkpatin
Featured image : Taiwo Aiyedogbon, Mirror Mirror, 2019, Performance. Courtesy of the artist.
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