Tuesday, September 05, 2017

But I am breathing under water (detail), Thread, graphite on trace paper, 2017

Wura-Natasha Ogunji
Curated by Eva Barois De Caevel

ifa-Galerie Berlin

September 29, 2017-January 14, 2018

Opening: 7pm, Thursday, September 28, 2017

The Kissing Mask, Thursday, September 28, 8pm.
If I loved you, Friday, September 29, 6pm.
Sweep, Saturday, September 30, 3pm
The Kissing Mask, Saturday, January 13, 2pm

In “Every Mask I Ever Loved” Wura-Natasha Ogunji presents a series of newly commissioned drawings, and 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. The exhibition consists of a display of works that are instrumental within the performances or act as echoes of it.

Through drawings (comprised of hand-stitched figures on architectural trace paper), video and performance, Ogunji 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, 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: she wanted the land to remember her presence. She has since performed it 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 self-consciousness, intimacy and privacy, and what one could call “the limits of empathy and identification.” (Kathy-Ann Tan, 2016).

Being the exhibition of the third chapter of « Untie to Tie », dedicated to intersectional feminisms, « Every Mask I Ever Loved » wishes to be not a discourse about feminism but an assertion : an existing space for one artist, not « expected to educate […] white people, […] men […] to [her] humanity » (Audre Lorde, 1984), but invited to express what matters to her, freely and creatively.

--Eva Barois De Caevel

Gallery Hours
Tuesday-Sunday, 2–6 pm