Emeka Ogboh

The newly developed work „At the Threshold“ by Emeka Ogboh is a series of portraits of Benin Bronzes. The Bronzes are currently held in the collection of the State Ethnographic Collections of Saxony (SES). By this intervention the artist draws attention to a largely debated part of the State Art Collections Dresden, addressing the presence and absence of the bronzes at their place of origin and in the collections of German museum. Simultaneously, however, he time raises the question of how European and non-European art are in fact mutually conditioning each other.

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One consequence of the Benin Bronzes having been removed from their place of origin in 1897 is that they were stripped of specific life stories. They ceased to have the individual identity and autonomy they had in their original context. Celebrated objects that were once emblematic of religious and political power have become reduced to a state of imposed stasis in the Western museums.

© TOM DACHS

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Emeka Ogboh was born in 1977 in Enugu in Nigeria and currently lives in Berlin. The sound- and installation artist connects to places with his senses of hearing and taste. Through his works, Ogboh explores how private, public, collective memories and histories are translated, transformed and encoded into image, sound and food. These works contemplate how auditory and gustatory experiences capture existential relationships, frame our understanding of the world and provide a context to ask critical questions on immigration, globalization, and post-colonialism in. Ogboh has participated in numerous international exhibitions including documenta 14, (2017), Skulptur Projekte Münster (2017), the 56th edition of La Biennale di Venezia (2015), and Dakar Biennale (2014).

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