Thursday, 18 February 2010

“Forbidden Art.eas” by Landry Mbassy

“Forbidden Art.eas”
Who could have ever told me before I would visit Lagos and feel shocked? I mean, not the usual stuff you feel because you find yourself in a radically different context but, that strange sensation you have when, through your daily experience of the space and your surroundings, you feel something wrong is going on.

I have been in Lagos for a week now – and thanks to Bisi Silva for MAKING IT POSSIBLE for one of my dreams as a contemporary African artist dealing a lot with space and the energy within it to come true through this workshop – and it’s quite interesting to notice as an African leaving in Africa that there are so many differences between my native land – Cameroon - and Nigeria; as far as social interaction between people are concerned and even the rhythm of life within the city.

Something I really like about that workshop On Independence and the Ambivalence of promise is I come to learn quickly (probably faster than i would have had if i didn’t have the opportunity to participate in the residency) about certain realities or some social aspects of life in Lagos and i should also be thankful to my Nigerian counterparts for their willingness to share their own experiences during the residency talk sessions. And they do talk freely about their own fears, apprehensions and doubts about the system and the way things go, especially in Lagos but in Nigeria in general which is what i see when leaving the CCA around 6 in the evening. I guess being all photographers from different backgrounds and life status makes it more interesting because they actually have a sort of closer sociological approach to things (i might be wrong) than the usual people in the streets, i mean the kpa kpa kpa okada guy with his Naira cup winner attitude* or the selling bread teen at the corner of McEwen street* – somehow – not caring about what is what or who makes what and why...

But there we go then... What about them being the subjects of photographs or refusing to share “their” so-called-space with the viewer behind the camera.

That is where my mind freaks out... and makes me bring out these questions which are actually questions that are inherent to most of my Exhibition works: who am i? A public space kind of entity with as much references as the space i am dealing with of a solo creature that should consider itself as a forbidden area for the fellow whom i perceive as a stranger in my world...
To be continued... LM

* Kpa kpa kpa okada guy: The money minded bike rider
* Naira cup winner: someone who only cares about his pocket
* McEwen Street: A street in Sabo where the CCA is located


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home