Six ‘Mobile Museum’ artists on their Way to Dak’Art

L to R: Robin Sohdi, Lufthansa General Manager, Nigeria & Equitorial Guinea; Friederike Moeschel, Director, Goethe-Institut Nigeria; participating artists Monsuru Alashe and Gabriel Goller; curator Emeka Udemba. Photo Credit: Willie Schumann

The Goethe-Institut Nigeria mobile residency, which is to take six artists to Dak’Art in Dakar, Senegal will hit the road from Lagos on Wednesday.

The event, which is in its second edition (it began in 2016), is titled “Stretched Terrains – The Mobile Museum on its Way to Dak’Art”.

The project involves a group of young artists drawn from Nigeria, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Senegal and Germany.

The participating artists are Emeka Udemba, Gabriel Goller, Monsuru Alashe, Ray Claver Agbo, Dame Diongue, better known as artist Bay Dam, and Souleymane Konate. The Nigerian artist Emeka Udemba, who lives in Germany, is the curator of the project.

During this leg of the journey, artists will research and simultaneously produce their works, which will be presented at Dak’Art, and at the Goethe-Institutes in Ghana, Togo, Cote d’Ivoire and the German-Malian Cultural Centre, Mali.

The group will begin the six-week journey with an old converted public transport bus, the Molue Mobile Museum of Contemporary Art.

They will journey through Benin, Togo, Ghana, Ivory Coast and Mali, before they eventually arrive in Dakar, Senegal.

Their arrival will coincide with the opening of the 13th edition of the International Biennial DaK’Art, beginning in May.

At a press conference in Lagos on Tuesday, the director of Goethe-Institut Nigeria, Friederike Moeschel, introduced the project to the audience and gave a background into the MMMoCA’s first two trips to Cotonou and Dakar respectively.

She also explained why Goethe-Institut continues to collaborate with Mr. Udemba, given the project’s particularity in the context of international and cross-cultural collaborations between Germans and Nigerians, as well as other African artists.

According to her, aside from Mr. Udemba, who is the curator of the trip; Monsuru Alashe, another artist going from Nigeria, and Gabriel Goller from Germany, the other artists will be picked up as the journey progresses.

Mr. Udemba described the curatorial outlook as being based on an exploration of how topography influences not just culture but also impacts the social, the economic and the political, with an emphasis on the experimental.

Mr. Udemba emphasised the reasoning behind conceiving a Mobile Museum in 2004, as looking beyond a fixed address but offering a chance for contemporary art to be seen and appreciated by different people across locales.

He said, “Art is also about trying to start up a conversation among people. Their minds and consciousness are awakened. The whole essence of being an artist is the collaboration, and interrogation of other cultures. Such resolve cult

In her closing remarks, Ms. Moeschel thanked project co-sponsors Lufthansa and Brussels Airlines, as well as the media representatives in attendance for their support.

She assured the participating artists and guests of the bus’s resilience for the journey and the organisational measures put in place to ensure that the road trip – while not a luxury cruise – would be smooth-sailing for the participants in terms of healthcare, security, and immigration.

The press conference was followed by a tour of the Mobile Museum at the City Hall Car Park. Journalists and all present got the chance to hop on the solar-powered bus, and to see the facilities available to the participants.


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