The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art is partnering with Art X, the African International Film Festival (AFRIFF), the African Artists’ Foundation and Alára to bring together the U.S., Nigeria and African diaspora through the worlds of film, art, photography and fashion. “24 Hours of the Smithsonian in Lagos” will feature “Taste!” a multisensory, participative art experience at Alára Sunday, Nov. 7, from 12h00-18h00 WAT (7 a.m. to 1 p.m. EST). “24 Hours of the Smithsonian in Lagos” comes during an ongoing explosion of creativity in Lagos and Nigeria and helps mark the end of Art X and the beginning of AFRIFF.
Curated by former Smithsonian Artist Research Fellow Temitayo Ogunbiyi, “Taste!” will include experiences by sound artist Emeka Ogboh, photographer Iké Udé and Ogunbiyi in collaboration with chef Renèe Chuks. Using sound, portraiture and food, the three artists question assumptions concerning culture, geography and identity. The experience will culminate in a living installation in which many of the celebrities featured in the upcoming exhibition “Iké Udé: Nollywood Portraits” and others become works of art by posing for photographs alongside Udé’s exuberant sets at the opening night of the African International Film Festival.
“24 Hours of the Smithsonian in Lagos” is the launch of the National Museum of African Art’s global presence under newly appointed director Ngaire Blankenberg.
“Iké Udé: Nollywood Portraits” will open at the National Museum of African Art in Washington, D.C., Feb. 5, 2022.
About the Artists
Udé is a Nigerian American conceptual artist who has been creating work since the 1990s that complicates notions of identity and perception. He uses photography to draw attention to how individuals portrayed in highly posed “performances” can reveal more truth than contrived poses that aim to be natural. Udé’s work is in the permanent collections of Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the National Museum of African Art, Sheldon Museum, RISD Museum, New Britain Museum of American Art, Minneapolis Institute of Arts and many private collections. His forthcoming solo exhibition “Iké Udé: Nollywood Portraits” will open at the National Museum of African Art Feb. 5, 2022.
Emeka Ogboh uses sound and gastronomy to create installations that have included music, soundscapes, limited editions of artisanal beer, sculpture and collaborations with chefs. He increasingly uses these works to examine how visual art can catalyze conversations about the environment. Having exhibited at documenta 14 (2017), the Venice Biennale (2015) and the Dakar Biennale (2014), he is an internationally acclaimed artist with works in major collections worldwide, including the National Museum of African Art. In September 2020, Ogboh presented a medley of his installations capturing Lagos at the Élysée Palace in Paris to mark the close of Afrique 2020.
Chuks is a culinary innovator and entrepreneur specializing in combining local and diasporic ingredients to support more sustainable and empowering food chains. She is the cofounder and CEO of Aldente Africa, an artisanal food and beverage company, an executive academic director and lead chef instructor at the Umami Center for Culinary Arts. Chuks trained as a classical French chef, graduating from Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Austin, Texas.
Ogunbiyi creates works on paper, paintings, sculptures and ambitious installations. In addition to exploring plants as they live around her, she also aims to record the socioeconomic conditions that exist within and how they are transformed in a wide range of culinary traditions. Ogunbiyi has received a 2020–2021 Digital Earth Fellowship, a 2018 Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship and a 2014 Ford Foundation Fellowship. Her artwork has been exhibited at the Madre Museum in Naples, Italy, the 2019 Lagos Biennial, the Pulitzer Arts Foundation and the Centre for Contemporary Art Lagos, among other venues. She is also a director of Yinka Shonibare CBE’s Guest Artist Space Foundation.
About the National Museum of African Art
The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art is the only museum in the world dedicated solely to the collection, conservation, study and exhibition of Africa’s arts across time and media. The museum’s collection of over 12,000 artworks spans more than 1,000 years of African history and includes a variety of media from across the continent. For more information, call (202) 633-4600 or visit the museum’s website. For general Smithsonian information, the public can call (202) 633-1000. Follow the museum on Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and Facebook.