At eXodus:3 of P.A.G.E.S, Toni Kan, the author of Nights of the Creaking Bird and Song of Absence and Disp, is the Guest Author in the house who will review the artworks of Kainebi Osahenye with pages from his books. Both the shortstory and poetry collections have connection with what Kainebi works stand for: the street children and its business, the government, international influence and difference, rape and rage, and more.
P.A.G.E.S, the confluence of literature, art works, comics and photography brings together two patriots and compatriots in dialogue with their country - Nigeria with their art and literature. This programme is designed to converge fictionist, poets and playwrights, arts and literary lovers at the Center for Contemporary Art, Lagos, to give literary interpretation to the works being exhibited and dialogue around it at the Centre every month.
Toni Kan is an award winning poet, essayist and short story writer. He holds both a B.A. and M.A. English (Literature) degrees from the Universities of Jos and Lagos. His works have been published widely in the Art pages of prominent Nigerian newspapers and his poems have appeared in the anthology 25 New Nigerian Poets edited by Toyin Adewale. He has also had short stories published in anthologies like We-Men, Little Drops (1) and Diamond and Ashes. An award winning poet, essayist and short story writer, his awards have taken him to Scotland and Switzerland. Toni Kan is the author of the novella Ballad of Rage, Nights of the Creaking Bird and When A Dream Lingers Too Long. He is currently working on a novel, Secrets of the Untold.
DETAILS OF THE EXHIBITION
Trash-ing. New Works by Kainebi Osahenye
Opened on Saturday, 12th September 2009, by 3pm and Exhibition continues till 10th October 2009.
Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos is pleased to present an exhibition of new mixed media and painterly installations by acclaimed Lagos based artist Kainebi Osahenye. With over twenty years of artistic practice, this current incarnation Trash-ing builds on the continuous process of experimentation which has pushed the boundaries of his painting.
Trash-ing signals a new departure from his well-known large-scale neo-expressionist paintings towards the incorporation of more conceptual concerns through a format that increasingly borrows from an installation orientated process. Losing none of his gestural signature strokes, nor the luminosity of his colours or the edginess of his subject matter, Trash-ing highlights some of the issues that have pervaded his work for over a decade. In the recent works these existential, political, religious and everyday themes which habitually manifested with a degree of playfulness are presented less implicitly in favour of a suggestiveness which attests to the state of maturity he has attained in his career.
Osahenye moves seamlessly from the metaphysical to the physical, from the unreal to the real, foregrounding issues for which he is well-known and expanding on others such as globalisation, consumerism, man’s inhumanity and the environment forming the entral(nodal) focus of this new body of work. In so doing the exhibition’s title succeeds in playing on the multiple connotations of the word to ‘trash’ to signify destruction, abuse, rejection and waste. It also serves as an explicit reminder on the one hand of man’s disregard for one other and on the other, towards the environment.
Using appropriation as a tool, Osahenye’s most ambitious work to date is the ceiling to wall installation titled ‘Casualty’, 2009. Made of thousand of beer cans, the work is less about the ‘trendy’ fad in recycling than in
acknowledging the limitation of the traditional mode of painting whilst simultaneously recognising the abilities and the possibilities of pushing boundaries without losing the essence of the painterly. On sighting the burnt cans near a garbage dump of a hotel in Auchi, Osahenye states that he ‘was instantly confronted with thoughts of war, cruelty, melancholy, pain, displacement, anguish and deformity and I started conceiving ways to install
this large scale work to express the force and the power that I felt.’ Whether the totality of this and other works of the artist marks the beginning of the ‘new’ face of contemporary Nigerian painting remains to be seen.