Opening

Every Mask I Ever Loved

Wura-Natasha Ogunji, „But I am breathing under water“ (detail), 2017

Wura-Natasha Ogunji, „But I am breathing under water“ (detail), 2017


Every Mask I Ever Loved
Wura-Natasha Ogunji
Curated by Eva Barois De Caevel
29.9.2017-14.1.2018 

7 pm Opening
8 pm Performance The Kissing Mask

In Every Mask I Ever Loved Wura-Natasha Ogunji presents a series of newly commissioned drawings and performances – including re-creations of her performances Sweep, The Kissing Mask, and If I loved you – thereby continuing her exploration of the presence of women in both public and private space. Alongside the programme of performances, the exhibition consists of a display of works – textile masks and video – that are instrumental within the performances or act as echoes of it.

Ogunji’s practice – through drawings (comprised of hand-stitched figures on architectural trace paper), video and performance art – explores physicality, endurance and gestures of the body; our relationship to geographical, architectural and filmic space; as well as memory and history. Many of her performances highlight the relationship between the body and social power and presence, investigating how women, in particular, occupy space through both epic and ordinary actions.

Splitting her time between Austin and Lagos for many years, Ogunji was deeply influenced by her experience of living between two countries and, more recently, of residing in Lagos. Sweep was originally performed during Ogunji’s first visit to Nigeria. As she explains, she wanted the land to remember her presence. She has since performed Sweep in different contexts and countries, deepening her thinking about the presence of women within those societies, and exploring the notion of homeland and diasporic identity. The Kissing Mask and If I loved you are ways to experiment with notions of self-consciousness, intimacy and privacy, and what one could call “the limits of empathy and identification.” (Kathy-Ann Tan, 2016).

Being the third chapter, dedicated to feminisms, of Untie to Tie – On Colonial Legacies and Contemporary Societies, the accompanying programme of the exhibition is thought of as an opportunity to remember that there are “striking parallels between sexual violence against individual women and neo-colonial violence against people and nations” (Angela Davis, 1985). It also wishes to question the notion of women’s rights in a postcolonial context; these being still very much defined only by some. Every Mask I Ever Loved presents a moment to re-think feminisms transnationally, and acts as a call, as explored by Ogunji, to consider geographic presence and specificity, and individual narratives.

Performances 

Thur, 28.9., 8 pm The Kissing Mask 

Fri, 29.9., 6 pm If I loved you 

Sat, 30.9., 3 pm Sweep 

Sat, 13.1., 2 pm The Kissing Mask

Wura-Natasha Ogunji (b.1970 in St. Louis, USA, based in Lagos, Nigeria) holds a BA from Stanford University [1992, Anthropology] and an MFA from San Jose State University [1998, Photography]. She is a recipient of the prestigious John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship and has received grants from the National Performance Network; The Pollock-Krasner Foundation; The Dallas Museum of Art; and the Idea Fund. Exhibitions (Selection): Kochi-Muziris Biennale (2016); 1:54 London (2017) and New York (2017); Seattle Art Museum (2016); Brooklyn Art Museum (2016); The Fowler Museum (2016); Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebaek (2016); Omenka Gallery, Lagos (2015); Edward Tyler Nahem Fine Art, New York (2015); Diverseworks, Houston (2014); Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Art, New York (2014).

Eva Barois De Caevel is an independent curator. She works as a curator for RAW Material Company and is the coordinator of the RAW Academy (Senegal). In 2016, she was part of the curatorial team of EVA International - Ireland's Biennial. She is also editor for the Institute for Human Activities (Congo, The Netherlands, Belgium). Eva is one of the founding members of the curatorial collective Cartel de Kunst, created in 2012, and based in Paris. She is the recipient of the ICI Independent Vision Curatorial Award 2014.

  • Photo: Victoria Tomaschko

  • Photo: Victoria Tomaschko

  • Photo: Victoria Tomaschko

  • Photo: Victoria Tomaschko

  • Photo: Victoria Tomaschko

  • Photo: Victoria Tomaschko

  • Photo: Victoria Tomaschko

  • Photo: Victoria Tomaschko

  • Photo: Victoria Tomaschko

  • Photo: Victoria Tomaschko