October Residency Update

October Residency Update

October in Lagos was charged with electric anticipation for ART X Lagos, and the G.A.S. and Y.S.F. teams spent the month in preparation for their annual Lagos Art Tour. The first residents to join ART X Prize Winner, Belinda Kazeem, that month were Karl Ohiri, and Riikka Kassinen of Lagos Studio Archives. The duo arrived in Nigeria to continue their exploration of the Abi Morocco Photo Archive, a historic photography studio based in Lagos, Nigeria that ran from 1970 until 2006, capturing historic scenes of Nigerian social life. Launched in 2015, the ambitious Lagos Studio Archives project focuses on the preservation of endangered archives, observing how the narratives within photographs can evolve, whilst raising awareness about the relevance of archive materials for the future.


Portrait of Karl Ohiri and Riikka Kassinen. Image courtesy of Lagos Studio Archives.


Karl and Riikka spent their month in Lagos building new connections and contextualising the current outlook for archive preservation on the continent. They also collaborated with other iconic studios in the city, including Foto Ojeikere, managed by Amaize Ojeikere and established by renowned Nigerian photographer, J.D. Okhai Ojeikere in 1975. Their findings led to an interactive panel discussion during their community-based event, Archiving for the Future. Karl co-hosted the successful talk alongside Fu’ad Lawal of Archivi.ng – a budding interventionist project aiming to increase accessibility to Nigerian newspaper archives through digitisation and the use of AI technology.


We are pleased to announce that since returning to Helsinki Lagos Studio Archives, have been awarded the Kone Foundation grant valued at €173,000. Their Lagos residency was generously supported through a partnership with Autograph.


Founder of Archivi.ng Fu'ad Lawal and Karl Ohiri (one half of Lagos Studio Archives) in conversation during their event No One Knows Tomorrow


Next to arrive was Gareth Nyandoro, a renowned visual artist from Zimbabwe whose practice explores the intersections between urban and pastoral landscapes. Trained as a printmaker, Gareth is best known for producing large works on paper, winning the 2016 FT/OppenheimerFunds Emerging Voices Award, and serving as co-representative for Zimbabwe at the 56th Venice Biennale. Gareth’s works have also been a long-term fixture at Tiwani Contemporary, which generously supported his G.A.S. residency.


Gareth Nyandoro performing In My Garden at G.A.S. Lagos.


A month in Nigeria allowed him to draw insightful parallels between Lagos and his hometown, Harare, which he commonly references in his work. Gareth also spent some time at the G.A.S. Ecology Green Farm, Ikise. The serene countryside residence sparked inspiration for new sustainable farming methods and provided room for reflection. Upon returning to Lagos, Gareth began experimenting with new mediums, including wood and textiles.


Gareth Nyandoro with residents Karl Ohiri, TK Smith and G.A.S., Y.S.F. and Shonibare Studio team members.


He concluded his time in Lagos with a thought-provoking performance, In My Garden, held in the G.A.S. Lagos courtyard. The event echoed his frequent depictions of human labour, commerce, and the dynamism of urban development on the continent. Altogether, proving to be an insightful conclusion to his residency and exhibition at ART X Lagos.

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