BIENNALE ARCHITETTURA 2016 - NATIONAL PARTICIPATION OF NIGERIA

Nigeria - Biennale Architettura 2016

DIMINISHED CAPACITY 

Venue: Spazio Punch, Giudecca (2016)

'Diminished Capacity' intends to analyze a historical transaction moment with the ambition to rewrite history, starting from Nigeria to provide unpublished interpretations. In this condition, to rewrite history becomes a necessary evolution. The wrong reading of Africa transforms the continent itself into a country poised in perpetual opposition to restlessness; what is its identity in forms and structures? “Africa is not a country!” In that conflict, the first Nigerian Pavilion wants to prospect new methodologies.

Ola-Dele Kuku works contributes creative and critical thinking to how we might live otherwise with a different point of view of the African continent. Camilla Boemio curatorial approach seeks to examine how Kuku has not only focused on Nigerian history, but also simultaneously investigated the conditions of mobility in relation to the actuality with innovative installation chosen to re-write the diminished capacity of an territory.

The featured artist/architect, Ola-Dele Kuku, had worked in Milan with Daniel Libeskind in the 80s. Kuku delves into Nigeria’s history with his cultural investigations, continuing to explore structural and political representation and communication with light, braille, and neon. His latest work, “Africa is not a Country”, raises the flawed perception of the vast and remarkable continent by outsiders. Nigeria is a huge country with a vast population of 160 million people (the world’s seventh most populous nation), made up of numerous ethnic and religious groups. Communication and conflict, never far away in the country’s history, are explored through the pavilion's exquisite work.

Conflict is one of the recurrent themes in the work of Ola-Dele Kuku. As an architect-artist, he sees conflict as one of the driving mechanisms in our world, and as a tool to set change in motion. Conflict has played a crucial role since the dawn of creation. The Diminished Capacity is a part of the mechanism of a state of conflict. The existing hierarchy is at its zenith and is therefore about to fall. And although social media sometimes give the impression that our world is just a village, we are still increasingly concerned with what is happening outside our own front door. How our world will evolve is still unclear, but there is no doubt that conflict stimulates change. It stands the existing order on its head and inspires innovation.

Originally from Nigeria, Ola-Dele Kuku conducted his studies at the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-ARC) in Los Angeles and in Vico Morcote, Ticino, Switzerland. Since the inception of his career, his private practice brings together architecture’s elements and concepts with a special interest in philosophy, theory, and composition.

Throughout his practice, Ola-Dele Kuku, has consistently reshaped representation in a timely challenge. In this pavilion he works with drawing, installation, and objects, as well as revisiting, in an unconventional approach, the mainstays of architectural representational methods - plan, elevation and, section - to inject unsettling slippages into their rigorous formalism.

Ola-Dele Kuku has realised a number of remarkable objects, culminating in the ‘Opera Domestica’. Neglecting the end capabilities to itself, Kuku is quite fascinated by the study of proportion and create structures between the visible and the imaginary dialogue that put in the physical with the idea of empty space revolutionizing the common conception of living space and challenging traditional architecture dictates. At this immaterial production Kuku also having more works related to the subject such as `Opera Domestica`a series consisting of furniture wooden sculpture that condense the structures and functions of architectural space in the object space.

"The world is transformed through architecture, but also art should find more complex social contexts where inviting the public to explore unexpected places, discovering new routes in the city and its surroundings where art starts an unpublished public view. Global world is in a trans-formation and the cultural world is creating several unedited connections. Increasingly, intellectual projects are parts of a bigger ecological, economic and technological system in which collaborations are a source of innovation." Camilla Boemio

Throughout his practice, Ola-Dele Kuku, has consistently reshaped representation in a timely challenge. In this pavilion he works with drawing, installation, and objects, as well as revisiting, in an unconventional approach, the mainstays of architectural representational methods - plan, elevation and, section - to inject unsettling slippages into their rigorous formalism.

" A stronger source of inspiration for curator Camilla Boemio - not forgetting her long intellectual switching with Ola-Dele Kuku - it was the masterwork "The Migration Series" by renowned African American 20th century artist Jacob Lawrence. A powerful visual epic, "The Migration Series" (1940–41) documents the historic movement of millions of African Americans from the rural South to the urban North more than a century ago. The "Migration Series" has remained a cornerstone of the historical art and stimulating dialogue and reflection on global challenges in the 21st century. Jacob Lawrence's masterpiece was created over 70 years ago; it continues to resound powerfully with the global plight of migrants today. The universal themes of struggle and freedom continue to strike a chord not only in our Nigerian Pavilion experience but also in the international experience of migration around the world." Camilla Boemio


Detail installation - ‘Agenda Setting’ (neon series) Africa is not a country! photo – Filippo Peretti © 2016 courtesy Ola-Dele Kuku projects & LMS Gallery Brussels

Detail installation - ‘Agenda Setting’ (neon series) Africa is not a country! photo – Filippo Peretti © 2016 courtesy Ola-Dele Kuku projects & LMS Gallery Brussels

The wrong reading of Africa transforms the continent itself into a country poised in perpetual opposition to restlessness; what is its identity in forms and structures? “Africa is not a country!” In that conflict, the first Nigerian Pavilion wants to prospect new methodologies.

The exhibition creates a stratification of tensions between methods, concepts and the materials used. It's an unexpected and site-specific use of the space with contemporary art in which the curatorial concept starting from a sentence of a neon installation: "Africa is not a country!"; In that conflict wants to prospect new methodologies.


Detail installation - ‘Agenda Setting’ (neon series) Africa is not a country! photo – Filippo Peretti © 2016 courtesy Ola-Dele Kuku projects & LMS Gallery Brussels

Ola-Dele Kuku creates an immersive environments through coloured neon tube, his imaginary is politically engaged and activist in nature, exploring and interrogating actual political events.

Neon lighting is normally associated with outdoor signage, best seen after dark when city streets and strips light up with the promise of night-time excitement. The neon gives the viewer a contemplative experience of colour which is perhaps closer to being inside a cathedral than outside a casino, It gives a certain physiological effect.

Neglecting the end capabilities to itself, Kuku is quite fascinated by the study of proportion and create structures between the visible and the imaginary dialogue that put in the physical with the idea of empty space revolutionizing the common conception of living space and challenging traditional architecture dictates.


‘Collective Representation’ – Article 1 (blue) 2016 © Ola-Dele Kuku Projects / courtesy LMS Gallery, Brussels.

"The ‘Agenda Setting’ (neon series) ‘Africa is not a country!’ and ‘Collective Representation’ – Article 1 (blue) are really powerful; both works manifest the "imaginative perspective" and "visionary knowledge" anticipated of all artworks by the curatorial statement, and the same can be said of the video work and the big wood objects in the central area of the space. Such contrasts of color, form, and concept play an important role in Kuku's exhibitions, as they do fundamental perceptual oppositions like warm and cool, rough and smooth, and light and dark." Camilla Boemio



‘Diminished Capacity’ was conceived as a reflection of the contemporary global phenomenon of ‘Socio-Cultural Conflicts’, with a specific focus on the role of ‘Information / Communication’ and the ‘Mass Media’.

This object is an architectural prototype introduced as a parallel relationship between dimension and function, where proportion is relative to use. An entity within the dwelling space, accommodating what contains and what is contained. The project is composed of empty compartments, built-in objects and compositional pieces within other compartments, which could be assembled to create new objects. The project consists of 182 compartments accessible in two directions. There are two components of 91 compartments which merge at the diagonal of void squares or the line of reflections. The built-in objects and compositional pieces within the prototype are adapted to the many different aspects of living such as games, kitchen and dinning utensils, work and building utensils and so on."Opera Domestica II" is presented as a symbolic representation of a domestic ritual, which is to be perceived as a tangible identity of a specific aspect of being, revealed by forms of dimensions. The prototype is a personal library or personal archives - an architectural object where information is stored, obtained and assimilated. It is a dimension within the dwelling space that represents the domestic or the need to know as a component of experience.

Conflict is one of the recurrent themes in the work of Ola-Dele Kuku. The architect-artist sees conflict as one of the driving mechanisms in our world, and as a tool to set change in motion. Conflict has played a crucial role since the dawn of creation. The diminished capacity is a part of the mechanism of a state of conflict. The existing hierarchy is at its zenith and is therefore about to fall. And although social media sometimes give the impression that our world is just a village, we are still increasingly concerned with what is happening outside our own front door. How our world will evolve is not still unclear, but there is no doubt that conflict stimulates change. It stands the existing order on its head and inspires innovation.

"Opera Domestica II" is presented as a symbolic representation of a domestic ritual, which is to be perceived as a tangible identity of a specific aspect of being, revealed by forms of dimensions. The prototype is a personal library or personal archives - an architectural object where information is stored, obtained and assimilated.
It is a dimension within the dwelling space that represents the domestic or the need to know as a component of experience.


We are the Diminished Capacity from the system - the feeble voice that wants an opportunity to show social architecture within slow processes, bringing stable solutions in a politically tumultuous territory. We could become a magnet in the preparation of a new platform of talents and ideas.

"Opera Domestica II" is presented as a symbolic representation of a domestic rituale. The prototype is a personal library or personal archives - an architectural object where information is stored, obtained and assimilated. It is a dimension within the dwelling space that represents the need to know as a component of experience.



Beginning with Catherine David's and Okwui Enwezor Documenta (in 1997 and 2002 respectively), the world of mega-exhibitions has announced a shift toward rethinking the limits of Euro-American internationalism, and granting greater sensitivity to global practices in the Middle East, Eastern Europe, South and East Asia, Africa, and Latin America. So It's a prior evolution for continents outside of Europe to be well represent at La Biennale of Venice.

"Dilemma of Thought", a composition of drawings, Courtesy the artist and architect


"The video piece is among one of the strongest work — because video has become an "expediency" of many artists whose practice cannot be reduced to, or categorized by, its formal aspects." Camilla Boemio


"The development of the curatorial project in an ideal venue was one of the most difficult choice. In a long research around Venice, the Spazio Punch was an interesting discovery. It's a not-for-profit space on Giudecca island, in an old former warehouse that used to hold spirits and beer. The shape of the space and its imposing walls adopt a contemporary language that differs from the historical background, thus inviting visitors to discover an increasingly transformed, mysterious and fascinating space. At the same time we are on an island of an island; which creates a stratification of suggestions and otherness." Camilla Boemio

The preview at Nigerian Pavilion

Credits: Story

Diminished Capacity

Commissioner: Mr. Nkanta George Ufot (Director - International Cultural Relations, Ministry of Information and Culture)
Curator: Mrs. Camilla Boemio (curator, writer, critic)
Exhibitor: Mr. Ola-Dele Kuku (architect - artist)
Deputy Curator: Mr. Koku Konu (architect – critic) Lagos, Nigeria
Project Manager: Mr. Fabrizio Orsini
Exhibition Promotion and Communication: Mrs. Kavita Chellaram
Director - Arthouse Contemporary Limited, Lagos, Nigeria

Graphic Design: Gabriele Mizzoni
Photo Editing: Barbara Rossi, Riccardo Tosetto, Filippo Peretti
Web Design and Informatics: Frederic Ah-Thon

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
Translate with Google
Home
Explore
Nearby
Profile