Nigerian artist J.D. ‘Okhai Ojeikere has documented Nigerian life for 60 years. Moments of Beauty is an independent part of ARS 11 exhibition.
J.D. ’Okhai Ojeikere (b. 1930) documented significant moments in Nigerian history with great passion and discernment. Throughout his career, he has focused on the social, political and cultural transformations occurring during Nigeria’s transition from a colonial state to an independent republic. His formal investigations, documentary work and various commercial endeavors captured the unique atmosphere and élan of Nigeria during a period of great euphoria and ambivalence. Practicing since the early 1950’s, Ojeikere is a leading artist of his generation, devoted to the art of image making, the history of his country and the critical possibilities of the photographic medium.
The Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos presents Moments of Beauty, a groundbreaking exhibition of work by the Nigerian artist J.D. ‘Okhai Ojeikere as a part of ARS 11 exhibition. Moments of Beauty is curated by Aura Seikkula and Bisi Silva, director of CCA Lagos. Curatorial Assistant is Antawan I. Byrd.
Occasionally elegiac, but invariably elegant, the works in this exhibition reflect what the artist deems as “moments of beauty,” referring to the ebullience of Nigerian life engendered by independence and decolonisation. The exhibition highlights the breadth and depth of Ojeikere’s practice, chronicling his experiences as a documentary and commercial photographer and a visual artist by presenting works that cover a range of subjects including architecture, education, fashion, everyday (social) life and cultural festivals.
This first comprehensive survey of Ojeikere’s work to date with over 150 photographs, marks the beginning of current scholarship and engagement with the artist’s practice, which spans more than half of a century. With this thorough and critical overview Moments of Beauty aims at giving in-depth perspectives to the practice of an artist whose formidable archive has become a unique anthropological, ethnographic, and artistic national treasure.
Founded in 2007, the Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos is an independent visual art organization featuring a gallery space and one of the largest specialised visual art libraries on the continent. CCA Lagos provides platform for the development, presentation, and discussion of contemporary art and visual culture.
Antawan I. Byrd