April 27, 2012 - Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos - History/Matter
April 27, 2012


Ato Annan, “Paddle Your Own Canoe,” 2011.
Advertising posters, powder pigment & acrylic on canvas, 90 x 135 cm.

30 April–26 May 2012

Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos
9 McEwen Street
Sabo, Yaba, Lagos, Nigeria

T 234 702 836 7106


CCA, Lagos is pleased to present the second edition of its international art programme under the theme of History/Matter. In 2010 CCA, Lagos began with On Independence and The Ambivalence of Promise, an innovative programme with the aim of filling a gap in the art education curricula in Nigeria and other African countries, which tend to ignore the critical methodologies and histories that underpin artistic practice. Using the format of part art workshop, part residency, and part art academy, over the course of a month, History/Matter will focus partially on technique and primarily on methodology, critical thinking, the implementation of conceptual ideas as well as the development and role of curatorial practice. Continuing within the parameters of engaging the past in the present, History/Matter encourages the consideration of the discursive nature of ‘History’ not simply in terms of past events, narratives, and occurrences but also, and primarily, as it relates to the present. What does ‘History’ mean to us? Why does ‘History’ matter? What place does ‘History’ have in contemporary visual arts/curatorial practice? Participating artists will pursue projects that engage the complexities of the present through a historical lens.

In addition to emphasising strategies for engaging the past and present, the programme will stress the critical role that materials play in the execution of ideas, exploring questions such as: How do we effectively use materials to convey our ideas within art making practices? What knowledge is inherent to a specific material? What knowledge is imbedded through cultural, geographical, and personal relationships over time and how does choice of media inform one’s use of materials? The rigorous questioning of material and media in relation to individual ideas will be encouraged.

The programme will unfold through a series of lectures, seminars, portfolio reviews, and group crits as well as through the pursuit of independent and collaborative artistic projects. In addition, this year the pioneering project spearheaded by Kianga Ford and led with Shane Alsan Selzer, the Global Crit Clinic 2.0, Lagos (also facilitated by Bisi Silva and Adwoa Amoah) will serve as a curriculum module for History/Matter. The Global Crit Clinics are 2-week intensive programmes rooted in the Fine Arts pedagogical studio critique, designed to serve international communities where emerging fine artists have limited access to rigorous, idea-based dialogue.

History/Matter sessions will be led by a distinguished visiting faculty of artists and curators including: El Anatsui (NIG/GH); Candice Breitz (SA/GER); Tam Fiofori (NIG); Kianga Ford (US); Tessa Jackson (UK); Abdellah Karroum (MOR); Simone Leigh (US); Amilcar Packar (BR); Simon Njami (FR/CAM); J.D. ‘Okhai Ojeikere (NIG); Shane Aslan Selzer (US); and Kofi Settordji (GH).

Participating Artists include: Kelani Abass (NIG); Ato Annan (GH); Jacqueline Karuti (KEN); Chidinma Nnorom (NIG); Richardson Ovbiebo (NIG); Jabulani Pereira (SA); Mthabisi Phili (ZIM); Thabiso Sekgala (SA); and Portia Zvavahera (ZIM).

History/Matter has been conceived and developed by the Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos.
Project Curator: Bisi Silva (Director, CCA, Lagos)
Project Coordinators: Taiye Idahor and Kemi Aderinto (Project Coordinators, CCA, Lagos), with Silas Matope (Curatorial Assistant, National Gallery of Zimbabwe, Harare)
Observer: Adwoa Admoah (Foundation for Contemporary Art, Accra)

Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos is an independent, non-profit visual art organisation founded in December 2007 to provide a platform for the development, presentation, and discussion of contemporary visual art and culture. CCA, Lagos supports the intellectual and critical development of different art and cultural practices through talks, seminars, publications, workshops, and exhibitions. In addition, it encourages and promotes the professionalisation of artistic and curatorial practices in Nigeria and West Africa by collaborating with national and international artists, curators, writers, theorists, and organisations.

CCA, Lagos gratefully acknowledges the support the Public Affairs Department of the US Embassy, Lagos, Nigeria. The Global Crit Clinics have received generous early support from Parsons, The New School for Design, part of The New School University, New York.

For further information please contact Taiye Idahor: taiye.ccalagos@gmail.com.

History/Matter at Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos
Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos
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