LONDON.- Tiwani Contemporary
presents Pride, an exhibition by Nigerian photographer Andrew Esiebo on barbershops across 8 West African cities (Lagos, Cotonou, Accra, Abidjan, Monrovia, Bamako, Dakar and Nouakchott). The selection includes images that have never been exhibited and is Esiebos first solo exhibition in London.
Pride is a photographic investigation of the relationship between hairstyles as well as individual and collective identities. The exhibition positions four bodies of work as interlocutors to explore lapses in current narratives about African males.
Urban Aesthetics (2012) explores the exterior landscapes of the barbershops, which marry the rhythms and soul of the street, through hand painted shop signs with shiny colours, utensils and diverse male hair cuts. Nuances (2012) is a collection of similar symbols and iconography of global culture found within the interiors; The Barbers (2012) captures the men in their work environments and Style (2012) is a focus on social identity through hair styles in relation to their African and global blackness.
Using the language of the gallerys architecture, Esiebo will create a site--specific installation, especially for the exhibition. This installation proposes a new relationship between the works on view as well as the works in relation to the viewer, by oscillating the attention between the optical and physical experience.
Pride unveils the aesthetics of barbershops, its iconographies as well as its symbols to highlight the social, spiritual and mystical impact of hair in African society. Beyond the documentary aspect, Pride is a reflection of the coexistence of tradition and modernity.
Andrew Esiebo, was born in Lagos, Nigeria and is a member of the Lagos collective Black Box. His practice focuses on new creative territory and integrating multimedia practice with the investigations of themes such as sexuality, gender politics, popular culture, migration, religion and spirituality. Recent exhibitions include Before: Nigeria Musee du Quai Branly, Paris, France (2013); Made in China, Institute Francias Mauritania, Nouakchott, Mauritania (2013); Na Go. Aesthetics of African Charismatic Power Padova, Italy (2012); and The Progress of Love of Contemporary Art, Lagos, Nigeria (2012). His work has featured in biennials and festivals including the Biennale Cuvee, Linz, Austria (2013); Photo Quai Biennial in Paris, France (2011); Sao Paulo Biennials, Brazil (2010); Lagos Photo Festival (2010); the Chobi Mela V Photo Festival in Bangladesh (2009); African Photography Encounters in Mali (2009); the Guangzhou Triennial in Beijing, China (2008); and the Noorderlitch Photo Festival in Netherlands (2007). He is winner of 2011 Muse´e du Quai Branly Artistic creation prize and in 2010, he was selected for the Dream Team of Road to Twenty Ten project, where 16 journalists and photographers were selected to provide alternative stories from the World Cup in South Africa. In 2008, Esiebo was a resident of Gasworks International Fellowship Programme, London.