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Whitewall checked in with the Lagos-based Ogunji to learn about what we can expect from the new series.
WHITEWALL: The Performance Pavilion is a new addition to ART X Lagos. What can visitors expect?
WURA-NATASHA OGUNJI: “small acts” is a series of performances that lead us to consider the connection between art and ethics. Comprised of three live performances developed specifically for Art X, “small acts” showcases new works by artists Taiwo Aiyedogbon, Eca Eps, and Ngozi Schommers.
WW: How did you arrive at the theme, “small acts” which consider connections between art and ethics?
WNO: For many years now, I have been thinking about curating a series of performances which features artists whose work bravely interrupts and interrogates the status quo. This series is deeply inspired by Dr. Philip Zimbardo‘s concept of “heroic imagination” which posits that individuals have the capacity to make extraordinary ethical interventions to help their fellow human beings.
WW: How were the artists chosen for the three live performances?
WNO: The three artists, Taiwo Aiyedogbon, Eca Eps, and Ngozi Schommers were chosen because they create beautiful, poetic, gorgeous work. Their performances lead us to ask important societal questions–from the epic to the ordinary—and thus they bring critical conversations to the forefront.
WW: How does each artist’s practice engage with living and working in Nigeria?
WNO: These artists are often starting from specific questions related to being Nigerian. They are having conversations about labor and infrastructure, gender and power, connection and difference. While these themes speak to the local and personal, they also present issues we are engaging with at a global scale.
WW: Can you tell us about your own performance practice?
WNO: I create performances about the presence of women in public space here in Lagos. These often involve investigations of labor and the body, freedom and frivolity.
WW: What are you looking forward to in and around ART X Lagos this year?
WNO: It’s lovely to see how the fair has grown over the years. It’s not simply about buying and selling, but also provides an opportunity for artists and audiences to engage with critical questions and expansive art experiences.