By Prisca SamDuru
“Live-In Desires”, a photography exhibition organised by the Nlele Institute, Lagos, opened on 11th June 2019, at Freedom Park, Lagos.
The exhihition is encouraging young people to begin dreaming big and at the same time, work towards realising those dreams. The featured artists are therefore, exhibiting beautiful photographs through which they visualise a desire or desires from a point of abstraction, to tangibility through resilience, hard work and consistency.
A minute silence held in honour of two sages in the art and culture industry; Bisi Sylva and Okwui Enweozor, declared the photography exhibition open.
The “Live-In-Desires” exhibition which is holding courtesy of Goethe Institut Nigeria in partnership with
Nlele Institute and Freedom Park Lagos, will be on display till July 11, 2019.
Curated and facilitated by Uche Okpa-Iroha, the exhibition features 12 emerging photographers namely; George Adedolapo, Eluehike Ralph, Adewusi Segun, Akinbo Ebunoluwa, Olarinde Ayanfeoluwa, Obu Nelson and six others, most of whom are under the mentorship of the Nlele Institute. The exhibition is the result of an earlier workshop which enjoyed the tremendous support of the Goethe Institut Nigeria.
The young artists are exploring the concept of desire from multiple perspectives in relation to their environment and living (residential) spaces in Lagos- a mega city of almost 25 million inhabitants. Uche described Lagos as a 21st century urban phenomenon- organic in its nature and evolution and with a DNA that is laced with energy, tension, creativity, spectacle, entrepreneurial spirit and exuberance, and with all the paradoxes that are often associated with cities experiencing uncontrolled growth in population and poor infrastructure.
Largely an unconventional exhibition, the artists Uche explained, were obligated to approach the subject matter from varied perspectives. The idea according to him, was to attempt the fusion of human desires with visual interpretation of the abstract and hopefully, to arrive or agree on a discernible formation or structure. The participants’ diverse views he pointed out, consider the unique personalities and characteristics of our spaces and their inherent identities. They cross reference all that with existing social, economic, political, cultural, religious and gender related factors.
Photographs on display include images clearly showing a marriage of aesthetics and architecture. Most artists exhibited shots of their supposed present status and the bigger picture of them in the near future.
Declaring the exhibition open, the Goethe Institut Nigeria Director, Friederike Moschel who conceived the idea of the project, said “We developed the idea to hold the exhibition because last year we had the Legacy 95 workshop on the protection of architectural heritage. As you know especially here in Lagos, it’s a huge topic.
We had all these discussions with experts on the issue and we said to ourselves, what about the people? We are always talking about things to protect or make architecture beautiful. What about the people? What are their dreams about how they will love to live? So with our corporation with Nlele institute, we developed ideas on the exhibition.”