City Chronicles Opens at AAF

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Yinka Olatunbosun

Nestled in the serene side of Victoria Island, the African Artists’ Foundation (AAF) has thrown its doors open to welcome art lovers to its first exhibition of the year, titled, “City Chronicles,” which is a photography and video exhibition executed by two emerging artists, Kadara Enyeasi and Logor Oluwamuyiwa.

Whether in still or motion pictures, the images at the joint exhibition reveal the vignettes of daily life in varying temperaments. As each artist invites the viewer to take a deep breath and soak in every image and cinematic textured video, the city’s unnoticed vestiges are painstakingly documented.

Arriving at the AAF building, it was easy to recognize Logor’s artistic works especially his signature monochrome series in miniatures. Logor’s images capture some salient cultural aspects of city life such as urbanisation. The details dictate the volume of the message embedded in each work as they raise socio-economic issues from the trifling to the substantial: empty billboard, old dilapidated building amidst modern structures-skyscrapers; relics of iconic buildings; a passerby reading a newspaper by the roadside and the back view of a young man’s head.

At the top floor of the building, Logor’s larger works come to the view of every visitor. One of the attention-grabbing works is a close-up shot at two hands of a man placed atop each other with smoke wafting from a lit cigarette between two fingers. Another picture shows a beach with poles enmeshed in the white sandy soil. Of course, many Lagosians who were in Nigeria during the military rule will likely remember that the beach was the slaughter slab for criminals.

To catch up on contemporary narrative, Logor shoots the image of commuters in Lagos inside popular mass transit, BRT in traffic. Then a picture showing two tyres, that symbolise the agony of a Lagos driver in securing a parking space in the metropolis, bear the untold story of broad-day light extortion in the city.

Kadara’s video artworks have the luxury of a secluded viewing area, two large projector screens as well as two portable monochrome television sets. Made from hundreds of footages, the video art takes the viewer on a sheer voyeurism with focus on the animated human life in busy city centres.

Kadara is a multi-disciplinary artist who studied architecture prior to his sojourn into the arts. His images show the relation between the body and the urban environment.
The show runs till February 15.