Saturday, 22 November 2008

Art-iculate begins with Didier Schaub of Doual'art, Cameroon

Saturday 22nd November, 3pm – 4.30pm

Mr Didier Schaub

Artistic Director of Doual’art, Cameroun.

Title: Doual’art: Contemporary Art in the Public Space.

Doual’art: Contemporary Art in the Public Space, will provide a critical discussion of the role of art in society, focusing on the example of the first edition of the Salon Urbain de Douala, (SUD) a triennial exhibition of public art which took place in December 2007. The programme hosted a dozen public art events, among them the inauguration of four permanent works of public art, and a temporary exhibition of sculptures placed in urban, open places.

a new series of lectures that aims to increase dialogue, encourage debate and stimulate exchange in visual arts and culture in Nigeria by inviting international curators, critics, and art historians to share their knowledge, skills and experience. In prioritising dialogue and discourse in our programmes, we hope to encourage the development of critical perspectives that help us to learn about and understand not only our society but about world in general.

Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos
9 McEwen Street, Sabo, Lagos

Sunday, 16 November 2008

A Website for CCA,Lagos

Finally a window in virtual space with the launch of our website Over the coming months we will update with new information but this blog will still serve as a parallel information site and will be updated more frequently until we migrate fully there. Then what happens to artspeakafrica. I guess everything has to come to an end. Will see as it is too early to worry about that.

The website has been made possible thanks to the support of the Thamgidi Foundation in Arnhem, Netherlands.

Contemporary Art Lecture series begins at CCA,Lagos

Art-iculate 08/09

A series of lectures on contemporary art and culture
featuring international guest speakers

In 2000 under the auspices of the now defunct IVAC the first programme of lectures featuring guest speakers Eddie Chambers and Katy Deepwell,(UK) Colin Richards, South Africa, Yacouba Konate, Ivory Coast and William Miko, Zambia made presentations not only to a Lagos art audience but also to students at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria and to art professionals Enugu in collaboration with the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. The positive response that was received nationwide highlighted the vacuum in the area of contemporary art discourse and the cultural isolation experienced by local artists. Today artists have the opportunity - through access to information and communication technology - to connect, interact and dialogue with people globally.

Within this context, the Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos is pleased to present a new series of lectures that aims to increase dialogue, encourage debate and stimulate exchange in visual arts and culture in Nigeria by inviting international curators, critics, and art historians to share their knowledge, skills and experience. In prioritising dialogue and discourse in our programmes, we hope to encourage the development of critical perspectives that help us to learn about and understand not only our society but about world in general.

Over the next nine months CCA,Lagos will invite curators, art historian, writers and cultural producers who will provide an insight into the visual art sector of countries as diverse as Cameroon, Ivory Coast, South Africa, Brazil, India, America as well as explore the work of individuals and organisations across a broad spectrum of curatorial and critical perspectives and artistic practices.

As in 2000, the current series of international lectures Art-iculate has been made possible with the support of the Prince Claus Fund.

For more information contact Hansi Momodu at

Pictures from activities around Picha, African Comics Exhibition

Art the opening of Picha, African Comics short speeches about the project and the exhibition was given by Bisi Silva, director CCA,Lagos and by Joost Pollmann, curator, Caroline Vedhuizen, Project Manager, NCDO and by the 2nd Consul at the Royal Dutch Embassy, Nigeria Mr Sonnemanns.

The artists Kola Fayemi (nigeria) and TT.Fons (Senegal) also had useful information to share about their work. Also it was the first time they were seeing the exhibition and were happy to be doing so in Nigeria.

We had a small and intimate crowd. Still trying to get people used to come to galleries to see comics but there was lots of interaction, food and drink and the exhibition did look very nice. We will work hard to bring more people to visit as the appreciation for comic art is growing. Better pictures of the exhibition presentation in both venues will be post when the professional photographer has taken them.

Before the opening there was a meet with the press and the turnout was impressive with over 10 newspaper arts journalist present to interact with the artists, curator and organiser and also walk around the exhibition.

As part of the Lagos Comic Art Festival on the 7th of November, CCA,Lagos collaborated by holding a portfolio review session with young comic artists and Picha exhibiting artists T.T Fons and Kola Fayemi and with Joost Pollmans and Caroline Vedhuizen. It was in invaluable opportunity to have feedback on their work from professionals. The verdict of the experts - how do we move beyond the manga trend and create a new form of comic art that comes out the African context as opposed to the Japanese one??? An issue for future debate, surely.

Oyinda Fakeye remaining cool under the pressure of her first major project at since arriving at CCA,Lagos at the beginning of October.

The Exhibition installation team from yabatech lead by lecturer and sculptor Adeola Balogun did a wonderful job in putting together both exhibition both at CCA,Lagos and at the Yusuf Grillo Art Gallery at Yabatech.

Saturday, 8 November 2008

Picha, African Comics opens today at CCA,Lagos

Picha, African Comics November 8th – 20th December 2008

A Unique retrospective of 19 African comic artist

The African comics culture is thriving and diverse

Whilst comic art is popular in Nigeria with major newspapers providing the substantial outlet for the development of the artform, few opportunities are available for the professional presentation of Nigerian comic artist, let alone the work from other African countries within exhibition or gallery spaces here.

The Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos is pleased to present Picha, African comics, an international touring multi venue exhibition with one of the leading and oldest art institutions in Nigeria, The Yusuf Gillo Art Complex Gallery at the Yaba College of Art and Technology. After the successful inaugural curatorial project ‘Democrazy’ featuring the provocative works of artists Ghariokwu Lemi, Ndidi Dike and George Osodi. This is a befitting major project with which to begin rounding off what has been a very dynamic and vibrant first year of activities for CCA,Lagos.

Comics as an artform captures the heart of the young, the old and the in-between and the African comic is doing well. African comic artists are active throughout the continent, comic festivals are being organized and many comic magazines published. Senegal broadcasts a popular television series based on a comic character (Googoorlu), the life of Mandela has been told in comic form in South Africa and they use comics to warn soldiers about the dangers of AIDS in Ethiopia.

Marguerite Abouet [Ivory Coast]
It is striking that the African comic is a reflection of Africa's (political) reality. Sometimes you have to resort to subterfuge to write about light-hearted things. The successful comics series 'Aya de Yopougon', written by Ivorian Marguerite Abouet, is a soap in drawings, with love, arguments and adultery taking the centre stage. Yet this comic is set in the tranquil Seventies of the last century, when civil war in Ivory Coast was still very far away.

In Africa, comics can be produced at very low cost. You do not need to have an academic degree to make comics, and comics communicate at a very accessible level. These three factors make this medium very suitable for a continent with a limited artistic infrastructure. However, there is a problem: comics have to be distributed if they are to be read and there are often no channels for this. Moreover, even very inexpensive comics often prove to be too expensive for some African readers.
Unique retrospective and database
Picha is a twofold project. The exhibition presents the work of 18 comic artists and 1 scenario writer, people from all over the continent. It shows us their original drawings, comic books and the comics published in newspapers and magazines. In addition, a database has been set up which contains detailed information about comic artists and cartoonists from 55 African countries.

Hector Sonon [Rep. Of Benin]

The Comic Artists Are:

T.T. Fons [Senegal] Themba Siwela [South Africa] Pahé [Gabon]
Patrick Essono, alias Pahé, Frank Odoi [Ghana]Didier Kassaï[Central African Republic],
Eric Andriantsialonina, alias Dwa,
Didier Kassaï [Central African Republic], Bob Kanza [Congo],

Kola Fayemi [Nigeria], Tayo Fatunla [Nigeria], Ramón Esono Ebalé [Equatorial Guinea]

Adjim Danngar [Chad], Farid Boudjellal [Algeria],

Marguerite Abouet [Ivory Coast], Jean Claude Ngumire [Rwanda], Hector Sonon [Rep. Of Benin], Pat Masioni [Democratic Rep. Of Congo], Mohammed Nadrani [Morocco]

Bob Kanza [Congo], Barly Baruti [Democratic Rep. Of Congo],Karliendo Villiers [South Africa]

For more information visit
Picha is curated by Joost Pollmann, managing director at the 'Stripdagen' in Haarlem and works as a comic journalist for the Dutch newspaper 'de Volkskrant'. The presentation at CCA,Lagos has been organised by Bisi Silva and Oyinda Fakeye.
Picha is an initiative of NCDO, an organization promoting awareness of international cooperation based in the Netherlands.

Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos
9 McEwen Street, Sabo, Yaba, Lagos
0702 8367106
Tuesday - Saturday 10-6 (Monday by appointment)

Yusuf Grillo Art Gallery
Yaba College of Art and Technology
Yaba, Lagos
Monday - Friday 10-6

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

President Obama, Congratulations

Wow, that was a battle to the finish. A do or die unlike we see in Nigerian Politics. No other US presidential election has been followed like this one has in Africa. I was surprised to hear my phone ringing at 5am - fearing the worst news - as we tend to receive at odd times in this part of the world. My fears were hightened by hearing my sister's tearful voice. In that split second my mind raced to all sort of terrible calamities that could have befallen a family member or close friend until she said OBAMA IS PRESIDENT. To which i asked why are you crying - still thinking something more was to come - she replied they were tears of joy.

Indeed it is a joyful and a historic moment. She has stayed up overnight to watch it, whilst i was up early battling with 2 writing deadlines simultaneously - (yeah deadlife).

Obama fought the good battle -intelligently, articulately and charismatically. He has shown that he deserves to be where he is, now America has to show the world that they deserve him.

As he takes on his new and challenging role not only as an American president but as a global president, a 21st century Renaissance man I wish him and his family journey mercies.

Monday, 3 November 2008

A Scintillating Response to Video Art in Lagos

A hectic but satisfying week came to an end with the screening of the One Minute Videos on Saturday. It was attended by friends, family and members of the press and after the Q&A and comments, prizes and certificates were given out to participants.

And the Winner was photographer Abraham Oghobase for his beautiful, simple and articulate transition from his photographic work to the moving image. The jury (Heerko van der Kooij, Selby Gildemacher, Oyinda Fakeye and Bisi Silva) acknowledged the ease with which he understood the medium, the simplicity of his idea inspired by work and issues already being explored in his photography about self identity, and the aesthetic result. Congratulations to Abraham!!!!!

Abraham Oghobase collecting his Tommie Award,
Certificate and he also get a place at the
next video art workshop in Jan 2009

Uchay Chima collecting the 2nd prize - the publication about One Minutes projects around the world and his certificate. He also get 50% discount on the Jan 2009 workshop.

Uchay Chima's idea started from a complex, interweaving narrative about the Niger Delta which none of us could really visualise -
initially - in One Minute as there seemed to be a multitude of stories begging to be told. It is to his credit that he was able to sift through the stories to focus on the essence 'he who lays the golden egg (oil) must benefit. And that has not been the case in the Niger Delta. It was fun getting the chicken to lay the golden egg.

Poet Jelili Odeboye receive honourable mention for persistance, thinking visually about his ideas and achieving results with good development potential. I hope he continues to explore the possibilities of the medium.

All the participants worked hard at producing not only one but some 2-4 one minute videos, translating their ideas and playing with the possibilities. Their perservance, creativity and commitment was acknowledged with the One Minute Certificate.

Unfortunately Emeka Ogboh, a sound artist had to leave the workshop early due to previous engagement, but presented a work which imagined Lagos in the future - without the horns, beeps, shouting, go slow etc. hmmm. The video ends with a motorist taking the dvd of lagos sounds out of his car player and stepping out into the an oasis of calm with only birds chirping.

Heerko, Andrew Esiebo and Selby

Heerko, Rashid Adebiyi and Selby

Heerko, Jelili Atiku and Selby

Cross section of the audience.
CCA,Lagos looks forward to the next workshop at the beginning of January 2009 which will be over a two week period and will deepen participants skills and knowledge of video as an art medium. It will involve presentations by the artists leading the workshop, introduction to the history of video art and presentations on specific artists from members of CCA,Lagos and also the invited international speakers.

For more information email

Saturday, 1 November 2008

Jelili Odeboye, budding video poet speaks about the Video Art Workshop

Sent in by Hansi Momodu, CCA,Lagos Arts Project Co-ordinator.

News of the One Minute Video workshop at CCA, Lagos was far reaching and two of our attending artists crossed state from Osogbo to get to Lagos. I spoke to Jelili Temitope Odeboye about his experiences of the workshop, but also of the Lagos, and he has found that the challenge of being in such a bustling city has actually taught him to make decisions, especially in the artistic process much faster.

Jelili's One Minute is an examination of 'developmental problems facing Nigerian society in general and the Niger Delta in particular'. He explains that one of the biggest tasks has been covering this topic within the limitations of one minute's timeframe and attempting to transfer information to the viewer in a way that will hold their interest. As a studio trained Painter, a self taught textile artist, poet and decorator Jelili has clearly found a variety of avenues for his artistic outlet, and he was excited by the opportunity this workshop has given him to experiment with his ideas, to discover new possibilities in creating arts, and to discover more about his country.