Performance Artist – Otobong Nkanga

Otobong Nkanga

Nigerian Artist- Performance Art, Visual art

Otobong Nkanga’s drawings, installations, photographs, sculptures and performances examine the social and topographical relationship with our everyday environment. By exploring the notion of land as a place of non-belonging, Nkanga provides an alternative meaning to the social ideas of identity. Paradoxically, she brings to light the memories and historical impacts provoked by humans and nature. She lays out the inherent complexities of resources like soil and earth and their potential values in order to provoke narratives and stories connected to land.

Employing sculpture, drawing and performance, but also writing, publishing and pedagogical formats, Nkanga looks at the notion of ‘land’ as a geological and discursive formation, often taking as her starting point the systems and procedures by which raw materials are locally dug up, technologically processed and globally circulated. From there she follows the threads that intertwine ores, material culture and the construction of desire with the redistribution of power and knowledge.

Nkanga raises questions about the historical structure of a place, both physically and metaphysically. She often refers to the different objects and elements in her work as constellations. Constellations are imaginary patterns or diagrams which allow her to chart the intersections of nature, politics, colonialist economies and different geographies and histories.

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