The existential weight of freedom is not limited to the sacred and the political. The urge for freedom also finds expression in our everyday lives, especially when we compare the practicality of ordinary moments with the lofty yet hollow demands of public life. In response, the artists in this exhibition refuse to be constrained by the expectations of mainstream norms. Instead, they put the inner world on display in opposition to predominant public rhetoric. Their art magnifies our ordinary lives, particularly the world behind closed doors and the world within. Indeed, these works show us how the private space can lay the foundation for resistance to the overwhelming narratives society enforces.
In On the Fringe, the human mind, once a zone of privacy and exclusion, with its cryptic musings and inclinations, comes out of incognito and we are all invited with convivial Yoruba greetings of ẹ kaabọ, to examine and confront the diversity and interactions of culture, choice, and identity—as we find them conspicuously displayed in the works of the feature artists and in the empirical world.
Rich in symbolism, idealisation and history, these works stand unbending in a landscape dominated by concepts of political correctness. They shake off the imposed notions of their institutional origins while picking up the threads of a shared imperial history. Furthermore, as the public space represents the meeting point of our multidimensional selves, the audience will discover what drives these artists to create and live through the canvas—a dedication to life.
On the Fringe offers an avenue for reassessing the significance of the world that doesn’t always meet the eye, positioning it as the starting point of our existential musings.
Participating artists are Ayogu Kingsley, Boris Anje, Chinaza Nkemka, Damilola Opedun, David Olatoye, Emma Odumade, Johnson Ocheja, Michelle Okpare, Talut Kareem and Wasiu Eshinlokun.