Performance: Face Me, 2018
Material: Living Arts, Black Fabric, Mirror -
Place de la République is famous gathering ground in Paris. It’s hosted multiple protest including the occupy movement earlier in the decade. The square is just blocks away from Café Bonne Bière, the bistro hit by the wave of coordinated attacks in Paris Nov. 2015. In this performance my face is fully covered by a mask. This face covering is in direct opposition to Law of 2010-1192: Act prohibiting concealment of the face in public space. A law that the UN found to overwhelming effects women potentially "confining them to their homes, impeding their access to public services and marginalizing them." A reactionary law to the times. The mask was a mirror. Before I arrived in France, I thought a lot about what I’d do if the police approached me. I received many warnings: “If the police approach you just take the mask off”. I had no intention of taking off my mask until the performance was over.
In the performance, I make circles around the fountain in center of the square. The fountain carries a statue of Marianne, the personification of the republic. She is surrounded by Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity. -
Photos thanks to: Elina Suzuki
“Sets are coming in”
You can read the water. There’s a logic out there. There is a way the water behaves. You ready your board. You get out.
You make friends easy on the water. I’m rookie but they welcome me. There’s a temperament that sets in with everyone who’s riding. Uncle Allen- he’s been surfing Tarkwa for the last few decades- likes to encourage me with his horror stories. I got worked by a wave and caught in washing machine. When you hit a wave. It hits back harder. When you hit the ocean floor you hit bottom- nothing sandy about it. I needed a minute. Uncle Allen tells me about a time be got pummeled by a wave- his board flew out from under him and hit him straight in the cheek “I could squirt water out the right side”. I grimace. He laughs. I get back on the board. Shit. It’s brutal out here. I’m bruised up. Swollen. With lots of little scrapes and stings. My muscle hurt from paddling. A jelly fish goes by. I freak out. Another surfer reaches into the water and carries it away. Uncle Allen tells me about a wipe out where he landed in a smack of jellyfish. The welts didn’t fade for a month. He’s laughing and I’m really considering my life. It’s a weekday in the middle of January. The beach is quiet. We are waiting on the sea. I watch Uncle Allen paddle out to catch a few. He’s so easy. I’m hoping I picked a good enough position that the waves will come to catch me. No chance. I start to follow uncle Allen. I watching the way he moves on top of the sea. I mimic his flow. There’s a lot he knows. I don’t yet know. Just trying to meet him where he’s at. We are bobbing on the sea. The water is cool. Today, it is clean. The salt quickly heals my dings and gashes. Soothing me. I lie flat out on the board and let the water run all down my face and hair. The air above is still but the sea is singing. My eyes are to the horizon. Some waves crash on the rocks out by the lighthouse. Sit up. Surf’s up. Time to riiiddeee 🏄🏿♀️🤙🏿 happy new year. I’m heading off to Kumasi today for a residency. Excited to post about it and what I’ve been doing.
Art X Prize video. The fair runs Nov 2-4th there you can check out my digital installation ‘’Scraps From Mama’s Floor”. Visit @artxlagos
for more info on attending and purchasing tickets
A series of conceptualizations/portraits of the city.
For the both of us Khirkee is a space that produces dissonance. We are not from here but there is a familiarity here. Our home countries,
Nigeria and Afghanistan respectively, have a significant amount of representations within the city. Although we are transitory agents to
the Khirkee, we have been welcomed into these groups and the city more
Khirkee has proven to be a syncretic space able to contain a variance of philosophies, traditions, and histories.
And still, It would be imprudent to be believe that this ever expanding space creates a chasm that is able to entered into, excavated, and drained. There are varying degrees of weariness and trepidation toward those that don't belong. What happens when we understand reluctance to open and obfuscation as a methodology for protect and preservation of community. As artist, we both work extensively with establishing an maintaining notions of community. We have met each other, intellectually, examining a shared impasse in our philosophic renderings. As insider/outsiders, we be able to permeate and gain access to certain groups within the city. We now ask ourselves, what are the dangers in making work public of things that are told privately. How can we engage with community with out secret leaking and exposure. We have decided to develop work together examining these sites of inquiry. We have developed these series of boxes, not as answers but
as conceptualizations of this question and visual configurations of our observations of the community and its practice. We continue to wonder how can we up-pack community that does open but is closed. As artist who continue to engage with community we move forward in undecidedness. This oscillation in thought is reconfiguring our notion of what it means to work with community and our responsibilities are in community engagement.
We have placed the boxes in varying spaces around the festival.
The materiality of each object is designed to invite and repulse.
and Tito, 2017
Box 1 - Vegetable box
Box 2 - Hair Box
Box 3 - No Box
Box 4 - Concrete Box
New Delhi, India- Suraj made me feel like a super star. All I needed was a passport photo but even before I sat down he was eager to take me my pic. He snapped me a couple of times on his phone and showed me, gave me a thumbs up and a smile. Obviously, this was going to be great shoot. I walked away with several passport sized photos, i think only one of the batch would be read as “appropriate” but it didn’t matter. The experience was amazing. Khirkee in Delhi has many photo studios and I sat for portraits in nearly of them- I was interested to see how I would be directed and later edited by the photographers. How would I be rendered beautiful. For most, that meant my skin would be few shades lighter and my eyes somehow larger. For Suraj, that meant making the photo taking process fun. I returned to his studio but this time with the other art residents at khoj (@azizhazara
). I had been living and working along side then for the past month. We wanted something to commemorate our time together. We got dressed in the most outrageous outfits we could pull and asked Suraj to snap us. Suraj had free reign over the final edits, all we had to do was work it! 💁🏿♀️ fall 2017: ‘The World Next Door’ Residency at Khoj international Artist Association
Work: Wash Me Clean Until I am Whole Once Again
Materials: Living artist, black soap, camwood shavings, kanekalon braiding hair, water, white wrapper dress with train and white tarpaulin. —-
A human effigy is created from black soap. It is treated with camwood (Osun) - a powder used topically for skin care. After the sculpture is complete, She lays with the body and kisses it. The weight of the affection flattens the effigy. Water is dowsed on the flattened body to restore and mend it. The water mends but erodes and weakens the body. It coagulates; the water causes the Osun to change phases and bleed. More water is retrieved to clean the stains and restore the body. The corrosion continues. The mending, the cleaning. The reparative gestures are repeated until there is nothing left of the original black body; only the creator among the excrements.
The work was presented at the inaugural Lagos @lagos_biennial
Biennial | Photos by: Idoko Negedu @negedooz #performanceart #titoaderemiibitola
I was trying to get this script right.. something about a dying flying witch and a shrine, a metaphor for metamorphosis, but too much truth was missing from what I was trying to say. Early that semester, I got a lesson in dying. Malaria left me delirious lying on a Brooklyn street in February (this is a story for another post). So I knew something about leaving. What I was missing is what it meant to be unhinged, uninhibited, glide through air... what it meant to fly. I was presenting a project to my graduate level acting class led by Anna Deavere Smith. She spoke in riddles and allusions. She was not satisfied with my assignment. She didn’t believe me. ‘You have to know what it means to fly’ well, I guess I should sky dive. Initially, I thought this may be one of those transformative event best done alone. But then ehhh... if this could really change my life why wouldn’t I share it with another person? I asked my mother for plenty of reasons which can all be summated: I knew she’d say yes.
Being in the air was ... not as frighting as I imaged it would be. Yes, I wasn’t in any serious danger. But still! Physically the body should react and for me... there wasn’t much of one. I must know more of what it’s like to be unhinged than I believed. My mother felt the same way: not that thrilling. My mother and I. Women who will always remain on cusp and ever searching. It was in this realization that I found inspiration. I scrapped the story of flying dying witch the day before the show was up (reworked it for a festival a month later) and presented a brand new script for my final assignment. A story about hunger, desire, and displacement. It had a lot to do with that malaria episode I mentioned earlier.
Yo, I survived. And these days I’m thinking a lot about my mother. What she gave to me, what I took from her: a study.
The funniest thing about this video is how our gestures are mirrored (this is second only to nearly identical sky diving instructors strapped to our backs). My movement vocabulary was clearly adopted from her. A wide grin. A thumbs up. And arms stretched out- big and wide- daring the sky to hold us.
There's this street, downtown Lagos island that opens up to the loudest craziest market. There you should be able to find just about anything you could be looking for but if you can't, you can certainly get it made. Balogun is known best for its assortments of beautiful clothes and fabrics. It's a bustling spot, a colorful collage full of people. #videocollage #hotspot #balogunmarket #gif
It's officially official. Heading to NYC this fall. Heard back from one of two graduate programs and I got in! On my way to become a Dr. of ✨glitter✨Word from the other school won't come for a few more weeks, but it's also in NYC. Super excited. Super grateful. Super in need of a space to stay! New Yorkers... looking for a roommate? Got any suggestions where I should stay? 😎🤓😎🤓😎🤓Art from my GIF series "IRON CLAD" 📽The young men who have claimed the Running Shed as their place to ‘chill’, see themselves as protectors of the space. They bring vitality to the rusted railway museum. Their dreams extend past the constraints of their current situation and their aspirations are as grand as those who first mapped the Nigerian railway system. Featuring DJ Manning. SK. John. @legacy1995ng #gif #videoart #railway #nyc #africanart #lagosliving
Well well well. I'm back in Lagos. First order of business snap a photo of Margaret next to her favorite Keke. Just kidding it's both of our favorite. I wasn't bold enough to get in the photo. We just finished shopping in market she showed me the best place to buy garden eggs. She updated me on the current price of yam. I didn't say much- I was scared my phoné would hike up the prices. I bought my groceries and worried if I could survive on a veganized GAP diet. On our way back, We saw a fruit stand. I wanted bananas. They had none so I settled for pineapple, watermelon, and orange. I spotted the Keke not to far up the road and whispered to Margaret if its okay to take a picture. She shouted "ah, why not". I raised my hand, abashed, and took the photo near the stand. "What's the problem- Go closer now". I didn't move. Margaret did. She walked up right next to the Keke. "Snap me" I snapped her. Twice. I had to come pretty close in order to do a good job. In both photos she's grinning and behind the camera im looking sheepish. I grabbed my fruit and we went on our way. I missed my chance for the photo. I could have taken it right after Margaret did- but I felt foolish, so I let my desire go unfulfilled. Who knows if I'll see a Keke this beautiful again. People are less likely decorate their Kekes now a days. Hard times. I noticed the trend last year. There's less fun to be had in Lagos. I missed my chance to capture it. It's been a few months since I posted anything on Instagram. I had internet access and I have lots to share. I could have posted. Not sure why I didn't. But now I'll start again with this photo of Margaret and the Keke.
The Facts of Life, 2016
Performance by Tito Aderemi-Ibitola
Featuring: Tito Aderemi-Ibitola, Taiwo Aiyedogbon, Gloria Oghenjakpo
Curated by: @aaf_lagos
Photo by: @koye.o
Somethings are better unlearned?
missing this group of brave, interesting, and introspective smarty pants.
Project: 'Moving Still. How Do We Go From Here'
Devised theatre production/workshop directed and conceived by me
Participants: Tito Aderemi-Ibitola, Marleen Schröder, Lynhan Balatbat-Helbock, Pia Chakravarti Würthwein, Dyaa Naim, Nyambu Fifs Murage, Tito Fagbenle,
Marlon Van Rooyen, Mohaned
photo cred: Mohaned <3
#colonialNeighboursarchive #savvycontemporary #books #unlearning #performanceart #colonialhistory #theatre #devised #multimedia #workshop