September 21, 2017 - ifa-Galerie Berlin - Wura-Natasha Ogunji: Every Mask I Ever Loved
September 21, 2017

ifa-Galerie Berlin

Wura-Natasha Ogunji, It's raining in the House of Dance (detail), 2017. Thread, graphite, ink on trace paper, 3 panels (152 x 60 cm each). © the artist.

Wura-Natasha Ogunji
Every Mask I Ever Loved
Untie to Tie—On Colonial Legacies and Contemporary Societies / Chapter 3: Intersectional Feminisms
September 29, 2017–January 14, 2018

Opening and performances: September 28–30

ifa-Galerie Berlin
Linienstraße 139/140
10115 Berlin
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 2–6pm

T +49 30 28449110

In Every Mask I Ever Loved, Wura-Natasha Ogunji presents a series of newly commissioned drawings and performances—including recreations of her performances Sweep, The Kissing Mask, and If I loved you—thereby continuing her exploration of the presence of women in both public and private space. Alongside the programme of performances, the exhibition consists of a display of works—textile masks and video—that are instrumental within the performances or act as echoes of it. Ogunji’s practice—through drawings (comprised of hand-stitched figures on architectural trace paper), video and performance art—explores physicality, endurance and gestures of the body; our relationship to geographical, architectural and filmic space; as well as memory and history. Many of her performances highlight the relationship between the body and social power and presence, investigating how women, in particular, occupy space through both epic and ordinary actions. Splitting her time between Austin and Lagos for many years, Ogunji was deeply influenced by her experience of living between two countries and, more recently, of residing in Lagos. Sweep was originally performed during Ogunji’s first visit to Nigeria. As she explains, she wanted the land to remember her presence. She has since performed Sweep in different contexts and countries, deepening her thinking about the presence of women within those societies, and exploring the notion of homeland and diasporic identity. The Kissing Mask and If I loved you are ways to experiment with notions of self-consciousness, intimacy and privacy, and what one could call “the limits of empathy and identification.” (Kathy-Ann Tan, 2016).

Being the third chapter, dedicated to forms of feminism, of Untie to Tie—On Colonial Legacies and Contemporary Societies, the accompanying programme of the exhibition is thought of as an opportunity to remember that there are “striking parallels between sexual violence against individual women and neo-colonial violence against people and nations” (Angela Davis, 1985). It also wishes to question the notion of women’s rights in a postcolonial context; these being still very much defined only by some. Every Mask I Ever Loved presents a moment to re-think feminisms transnationally, and acts as a call, as explored by Ogunji, to consider geographic presence and specificity, and individual narratives.

curated by Eva Barois De Caevel

Wura-Natasha Ogunji (b. 1970 in St. Louis, USA, based in Lagos, Nigeria) holds a BA in Anthropology from Stanford University and an MFA in Photography from San Jose State University. She is a recipient of the prestigious Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship and has received grants from the National Performance Network, The Pollock-Krasner Foundation, The Dallas Museum of Art and the Idea Fund.

With the one-year research and exhibition programme Untie to Tie—On Colonial Legacies and Contemporary Societies, the ifa Gallery Berlin invites to reflect on the impacts of colonial legacies, which continue to globally influence contemporary realities and everyday life. From April 2017 to April 2018, four chapters will address this topic through different lenses: global relatedness, urban cultures, intersectional feminism, and a closing chapter dedicated to riots and resistance. Offering different perspectives and multiple voices the exhibitions, research platforms and public programmes want to create a transregional and sustainable discourse on colonial legacies.

Chapter 3
On Intersectional Feminisms and Colonial Legacies Chapter 3 of Untie to Tie focuses on intersectional feminisms. While a large part of contemporary feminist discourse is mostly advocating for women’s rights and equality, intersectional feminism intends to consider how overlapping identities—including race, class, ethnicity, religion and sexual orientation—impact women’s experiences of oppression and discrimination. Intersectional feminisms—understood through the lens of colonial legacies—is an opportunity to highlight the necessity to incorporate forms of feminism into a political project of global emancipation that pays attention to every form of oppression.

ifa-Galerie Berlin
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Every Mask I Ever Loved
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