Performance Artist – Jelili Atiku

Jelili Atiku

Nigerian Artist- Performance Art, Multimedia

For a decade, I have put my art at service of the prevailing concerns of our times; especially those issues that threatening our collective existence and the sustenance of our universe. Therefore, the contents of these concerns ranging from psychosocial and emotional effects of the traumatic events: violence, war, poverty, corruption, climate change, etc.,that associated with our warring world dominate my artistic forms.

Doing drawing, installation sculpture, video and performance art; I strive to help viewers understand the world and expand their understanding and experiences, so that they can activate and renew their lives and environments. However, in expressing myself artistically, I often search for new forms of creativity. Hence, I make collaborations with artists of diverse practices. In other word, my art forms are created out of experimentation and collaborations.

In the recent times, I have been focusing on enacting social intervention and political motivated live art performances – where self-invented costume, audience, etc. are integrated as symbolic contents. This direction is influenced by the gesture to further the expansion of field in visual art by creating “effective” intersection of performance with theater. Pertinently, I am compelled by the foregoing to make preliminary drawings, photographs and filming of my performances and use same for exhibitions.

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“To those who aspire to performance in Africa, I would like to tell them that it’s not new. Performance has been our ancient practice for a longer time. Just do it because it’s in our DNA. For those who are not Africans, they need to accept that it’s the purest artistic form. It has no divine methods, rules and regulations. Everything depends on you and you decide how you want the audience to see you. If you choose to use your body as a material, believe that it’s meaningful and very important.” Jelili Atiku

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