No Condition is Permanent
Curated by Ugochukwu-Smooth C. Nzewi.
September 13 – November 24, 2018
The exhibition Emeka Ogboh: No Condition is Permanent focuses on the artist Emeka Ogboh’s Lagos Soundscapes. The corpus of work reflects the history and modalities that have shaped the urban milieu of Lagos in particular, and the broader postcolonial reality in Nigeria. It is this idea that traditional and modern, archaic and new, local and foreign, international and transnational, and ultimately global, can co-exist even as the city continues to expand and evolve. His soundscapes experiments are the most detailed of Ogboh’s work till date and have been exhibited under various configurations; as stand-alone sound pieces; with minimalist components, or as installations with robust visual parts, and yet in other instances, as combinations of video and sound. No Condition is Permanent derives from a popular Nigerian wisecrack that describes the shifting nature of human conditions. This fitting aphorism reflects Ogboh’s expansive examination of Lagos during the last ten years, that coincides with the colossal infrastructural changes and socioeconomic development that the city-state, – which doubles as Nigeria’s economic nerve center – has witnessed in recent times.
Lagos has a rich and fascinating history. It began as a small pocket of islands surrounded by the lagoon that empties into the Atlantic Ocean when the Portuguese explorer Duarte Pachecho Pereira visited in 1485 and grew into a city-state by the eighteenth century on the strength of its commercial activity. First, it was a slaving port for the trans-Atlantic slave trade in the eighteenth century and subsequently became an important player in the global commodity trade from the nineteenth century onward. This spirit of mercantilism is the defining character of Lagos in popular imagination and is an undercurrent in Ogboh’s Lagos Soundscapes.
– Ugochukwu-Smooth C. Nzewi