Adejoke Tugbiyele / Testimony

Adejoke Tugbiyele / Testimony
05 September - 10 October 2015
Installation View
Adejoke Tugbiyele
Real Danger, 2015
Ink and paint on parchment
106 x 96 cm
Adejoke Tugbiyele
Triple Threat - Woman/Lesbian/Nigerian, 2015
Ink and paint on parchment
89 x 69cm
Adejoke Tugbiyele
Sawubona, Muthafuckers!, 2015
Ink, paint and pencil on parchment
88 x 96 cm
Adejoke Tugbiyele
Contra Diction, 2015
Tremnet/hardware cloth, perforated metal, wire, gas pumps, funnels
214 x 60 x 45 cm (installation variable)
Adejoke Tugbiyele
AfroOdyssey I, 2015
Digital Video

Adejoke Tugbiyele
Free Market Woman, 2015
Oil and ink on parchment
114 x 86 cm
Adejoke Tugbiyele
Omo Homo, 2015
Ink and paint on parchment
126 x 121 cm
Adejoke Tugbiyele
Ndebele Castle, 2015
Ink and paint on parchment
52 x 114 cm
Adejoke Tugbiyele
Springbok Colours, 2015
Dyed Springbok and cow hide leather
396 x 82 x 19 cm
Adejoke Tugbiyele
AfroOdyssey IV, 2015
Digital Video Projection

Adejoke Tugbiyele
I Need a Hero, 2015
Ink and paint on parchment
104 x 94 cm
Adejoke Tugbiyele
Remember This?, 2015
Limited Edition Heineken Bottles, funnel, hardware cloth
60 x 46 x 39 cm
Adejoke Tugbiyele
The Plea, 2015
Tremnet/hardware cloth, perforated metal, wire, African mask (collaged), vuvuzelas
146 x 108 x 104 cm
Adejoke Tugbiyele
Pleasure / Pain, 2015
Paint on Total oil drums, Video Projection of 'Totally Fucked'
Dimensions variable
Adejoke Tugbiyele
AfroOdyssey II, 2015
Digital Video

Adejoke Tugbiyele
Hate Thy Neighbour?, 2015
Ink and paint on parchment
106 x 96 cm
Adejoke Tugbiyele
Lagos Bound!, 2015
Oil and ink on calf parchment
60 x 70cm
Adejoke Tugbiyele
Soweto Star, 2015
Ink and paint on parchment
85 x 64cm
Adejoke Tugbiyele
Heavenly Ride, 2015
Ink and paint on parchment
94 x 87 cm
Adejoke Tugbiyele
AfroOdyssey III, 2015
Digital Video

Adejoke Tugbiyele
Totally Fucked!, 2015
Digital Video

Adejoke Tugbiyele / Testimony - Installation View

05 September - 10 October 2015

Adejoke Tugbiyele

Real Danger

Adejoke Tugbiyele

Triple Threat - Woman/Lesbian/Nigerian

Adejoke Tugbiyele

Sawubona, Muthafuckers!

Adejoke Tugbiyele

Contra Diction

Adejoke Tugbiyele

AfroOdyssey I

Adejoke Tugbiyele

Free Market Woman

Adejoke Tugbiyele

Omo Homo

Adejoke Tugbiyele

Ndebele Castle

Adejoke Tugbiyele

Springbok Colours

Adejoke Tugbiyele

AfroOdyssey IV

Adejoke Tugbiyele

I Need a Hero

Adejoke Tugbiyele

Remember This?

Adejoke Tugbiyele

The Plea

Adejoke Tugbiyele

Pleasure / Pain

Adejoke Tugbiyele

AfroOdyssey II

Adejoke Tugbiyele

Hate Thy Neighbour?

Adejoke Tugbiyele

Lagos Bound!

Adejoke Tugbiyele

Soweto Star

Adejoke Tugbiyele

Heavenly Ride

Adejoke Tugbiyele

AfroOdyssey III

Adejoke Tugbiyele

Totally Fucked!

Goodman Gallery Cape Town
5 September – 10 October 2015

Exhibition opening Saturday 5 September at 11:00
Walkabout with the artist at 12:00

In her forthcoming solo exhibition, TESTIMONY, the first in South Africa and on the continent, Adejoke Tugbiyele speaks to her personal experience and the lived and imagined experiences of all Nigerians, regardless of gender and sexual orientation. She takes as her motivation the fact that many Nigerians and other Africans cannot survive each day without dreaming of being elsewhere – somewhere far away. For example, Nigerians and other Africans migrate to places like South Africa for survival and freedom – including the freedom to love – managing existing trauma amid fears of xenophobia in a country still healing from its own apartheid past.

Tugbiyele notes that her fellow Nigerians use various means to acquire the necessary documentation to allow them to travel, taking steps that are dangerous and often placing them at odds with the law. Prostitution and sex work is common among both straight and gay people, because it is viewed as a means to success or a way out of the country. These are acts of survival given the conditions that cause Africans to risk their lives. It has become all too common to hear of refugees and migrants drowning while attempting to leave their countries by boat. Others take advantage of progressive marriage laws in other countries only to find themselves stuck in situations that can be just as complex as the ones they left behind.

In her statement Tugbiyele writes: “It is my hope that the exhibition TESTIMONY will do just that – testify on behalf of Nigerians and other Africans who are suffering, both gay and straight, because unfair dominance over people’s gender orientation eclipses the general hardships of life: electricity has been scarce for decades for example. In previous works I have said my piece about Nigeria’s unjust anti-gay bill, but ultimately it is a distraction. I know exactly what is going on. I just happen to be a queer Nigerian woman.

“The homosexuality debate in Nigeria, a highly diverse and complex nation, has to be understood from multiple angles: historic (colonization), economic (oil-state), political (north vs. south), religious (extremism) and geographical (north/south/east/west). Nigeria is also a young nation, having only gained independence from its colonial master – Great Britain – in 1960.

“Homosexuality in Nigeria can be viewed from a class perspective, but also through the lens of race, ethnicity, culture (re: marriage/dowry/ children), gender (sexism) and age (global youth- culture). Age is important because statistics show that over 60% of Nigeria’s large and growing population consists of people under the age of thirty, and the country’s poor education system, has exacerbated the existing level of ignorance within the general population on critical issues pertaining to gender and sexuality.”

In the exhibition TESTIMONY Tugbiyele reflects on her own experience of her gender identity, as well as her experience of migration – the result is an exhibition of works that are performative while engaging with architectural space. By drawing figures in performance, constructing sculptural costumes, and depicting herself in performance interacting with her artworks, Tugbiyele reflects on changing space, the evolution of objects and their enduring relevance in African cultures.

A note on Iranti-org
A percentage of proceeds from the exhibition TESTIMONY will go towards supporting the educational mission of Iranti-Org. Iranti-Org is a lesbian and transgender visual media organisation established in 2012. It works within a human rights framework to raise issues of sexual orientation and gender identities. To date, Iranti-org has documented hate crimes and human rights violations across South Africa. www.iranti-org.co.za