Power Show represents a pivotal turn in the early career of Akinwande and the fruits of an intensively experimental and creative 18 months. In mid-2016, Akinwande made the decision to branch out from the medium of photography in which he was working exclusively at the time. This decision came as a result of his participation in the Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos’ residency program titled Asiko, which took place from June-July 2016 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Encouraged by Asiko faculty to push the concept of the ‘Fuel Scarcity’ photographic series in a new material direction, Akinwande returned to Lagos with new ideas, and the motivation to experiment in forms from performance, installation, and sound. Inspired by precedents in the Lagos art world, namely the State of the Nation exhibition by Ndidi Dike (2013), Victor Ehikhamenor’s Wealth of Nation (2015), Uche James-Iroha Powers and Power (2014), and the politically charged performances of Jelili Atiku, Akinwande’s new work is both indebted to these influences and marked by his own experiences and his unique perspective on the Nigerian condition.
Ayo Akinwande is a trained architect, photographer and multimedia artist whose growing practice involves experimentation with photography, installation, performance, video and sound in exploring the concepts of identity, perception, duality and the multi-faceted layers of the human reality. His most recent work, a site-specific installation piece with sculptures and sound titled Deaf vs. Dumb takes its point of entry from the unending “Fight against Corruption” campaign by the Nigerian government.
Akinwande co-curated the 1st Lagos Biennial of Contemporary Arts and was also one of the participating artists at the show, which was held at the Nigerian Railway Museum. He was selected for the 2nd Changjiang International Photography and Video Biennial and was also part of the Chinafrika-under construction exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Arts, Leipzig. His works have been exhibited in solo and group shows across African and beyond. His work is in significant collections including the National Museum, Lagos.
This exhibition is made possible with the financial support of the F9 Contemporary Art Foundation.
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High-resolution images and more information on the artist are available on request.