Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Photos from presentation of "Obiora Udechukwu: Line, Image, Text," March 21

Today was the public presentation of my new book, Obiora Udechukwu: Line, Image, Text, at the African Artists Foundation. Thanks to the Ford Foundation, Princeton University, and the African Artists Foundation. And thanks to my family, friends old and new, and the many guests that turned up. And to my publisher, Skira Editore. Here, are some images from the event. All images under copyright. 

His Royal Majesty, at Kola breaking rite, gives Kola to El Anatsui

With my mother, Joy Okeke-Agulu, El Anatsui, Innocent Chukwuma, His Royal Majesty, Igwe Achebe, The Obi of Onitsha, Obiora Udechukwu, and Alhaji Abdulaziz Ude
With Jahman Anikulapo, Olu Amoda, and Toyin Akinosho


Ori and Tony Okoro

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With George Nwadiogbu, Faridah Folawiyo, Sandra Obiago, Innocent Chukwuma, Awam Amkpa, and Jahman Anikulapo
Ndidi Dike, Uche Edochie, and Chinwe Uwatse

Obiora Udechukwu, Ada Udechukwu, El Anatsui, and Innocent Chukwuma


Faridah, and guests

Obiora Udechukwu, Ada Udechukwu, and El Anatsui

Remarks by His Royal Majesty, Igwe Achebe, The Obi of Onitsha (Agbogidi)

Tony Nsofor and Chike Nwagbogu




Ozioma Onuzulike, book reviewer

Kolade Oshinowo, Chinwe Uwatse


Toni Kan and Victor Ehikamenor

Obiora Udechukwu



El giving closing remarks

Friday, March 3, 2017

Remembering Biafra Conference, April 21-22, 2017

Image Courtesy: International Business Times, UK


To mark the fiftieth anniversary of the birth of Biafra, that shortlived republic that was the southeastern Nigerian region a conference organized and hosted by George Washington University will take place on April 21-22, in Washington DC. Memory of Biafra remains strong in the hearts of many Biafran Children like me who were born on the eve of that war, and who survived the mass starvation used by the Nigerian government as a weapon of war, while most of the world looked away. It still hurts, as many of us who survived still carry a deep scar lodged in our souls these many years after.
For more on the Remembering Biafra Conference please check out the conference website.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Bona Ezeudu and family still waiting for Justice, in Nigeria


Lota Ezeudu

On September 26, 2009, my dear friend and colleague Bona Ezeudu lost his only son, Lota. Lota was a brilliant and enterprising second-year student in a university in Enugu, the capital of Enugu State, Nigeria. As it turned out, Lota had been murdered, and two men--former police officers in the city--were eventually accused as his murderers, along with the son of the chief of police in the town Sam Chukwu. The authorities eventually charged these men, including Sam Chukwu (in whose house the accused men lived and for whom they served as some kind of extrajudicial hitmen) for complicity in the murder of Lota Ezeudu. Sam Chukwu, "ran" from the law, was declared wanted, and never appeared in court. About two years later, he "surfaced," apparently promoted to a higher rank and transferred out of Enugu, despite that he was a fugitive of the law. Now he is a top police officer stationed in Lagos. This case is one more reason why that country Nigeria, sadly my homeland, remains a sorry, morally deficient place scarred by the culture of impunity. Frankly, this case, because it involved some people in power in Abuja (according to news reports), was one that I hoped the presidency of Muhammadu Buhari would have quickly resolved by compelling this man Sam Chukwu to face the charges pending in court.

For more on this story check out: Sahara Reporters latest report

Sotheby's London in the Game Too!

If you ever had any doubt about the marketability of modern and Contemporary Africa or about the fact that the fervid rise in prices of work in this area is no fluke or a temporary thing, the just-announced entrance of Sotheby's should tell you something. Since 2007 when the Lagos-based upstart Arthouse Limited and the veteran Bonhams established dedicated auctions for modern and contemporary African art--with major emphasis on Nigeria, nevertheless--we have seen record sales for many artists who until then fetched relatively small change in the even smaller secondary market there was for this art. It is no surprise, quite frankly, that Sotheby's, the world largest art business, has now decided to join the fun or fray, and we can only be sure that this will mean more keenly watched auctions and more acute trajectory for the price of African art. Good or bad, it means that this field is making sure and steady march to the mainstream. If it were real estate, you could say that is now undergoing gentrification. Come May 16, we shall see, for real, what signals Sotheby's inaugural auction will be sending to primary and secondary market for modern and contemporary African art.
   

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Assistant Curator in African Art at Yale University Art Gallery

Position: Benenson Assistant Curator of African Art 
Department: Yale University Art Gallery
STARS Requisition #:  42078BR  
http://bit.ly/2lJowYF 

Yale University offers exciting opportunities for achievement and growth in New Haven, Connecticut. Conveniently located between Boston and New York, New Haven is the creative capital of Connecticut with cultural resources that include three major museums, a critically-acclaimed repertory theater, state-of-the-art concert hall, and world-renowned schools of Architecture, Art, Drama, and Music.

General Purpose:  
The Frances and Benjamin Benenson Foundation Assistant Curator of African Art is head of the department of African Art at the Yale University Art Gallery. The collections, currently numbering between 2000 and 3000 objects, are wide-ranging and include the historic Linton and Charles B. Benenson collections. The Assistant Curator is responsible for the
department's classical African art in all media, which includes objects associated with performance, ritual use, and a wide range of social functions. S/he will enhance the department's holdings through acquisitions, research, cataloguing, exhibitions, and publications; will supervise the care of the collection through conservation, storage, and display; will field public inquiries and oversee the department's presence on the Gallery's website; will assume stewardship and donor cultivation responsibilities; will lecture and mentor students and will serve as ambassador for the department to the Yale community, the broader public, and to colleagues and institutions world-wide. The successful candidate will demonstrate a strong commitment to connoisseurship at least equal to any other form of scholarship. 

The position reports to the Chief Curator. Responsible for the presentation of the permanent collection to the public and for access to the collection through exhibitions, installations,
publications, and lectures. Oversee the maintenance, conservation, orderly storage, cataloguing, and labeling of the collection. Conduct in-depth research into the collections using original source materials where appropriate. Responsible for assessing objects requested for out-going loan. Formulate and implement a strategy for developing the collection of African Art through acquisitions and strategic loans. Mentor undergraduate and graduate students and collaborate with Yale faculty. Contribute to the formulation and implementation of the Gallery's mission in teaching and general accessibility through active involvement in discussions with the Director and other curators. Manage the Department of African Art by supervising the department's assistant, bursary students, interns, and volunteers. Oversee and be responsible for the departmental and exhibition budgets. Manage African art databases in cooperation with the Yale University Library. Participate in fundraising projects both through contact with collectors and donors and through grant writing. Represent the curatorial department on Gallery and University committees; represent the Gallery and University to a local, national, and international community to
promote the institution and its collection. 

Review of applications will begin April 10, 2017.

Required Education and Experience:  Master's Degree in Art History and two years of curatorial experience or an equivalent education and experience.

Qualifications:
  • online at http://bit.ly/2lJowYF. Please be sure to reference this website
  • Developed skills in relevant European and African languages: reading, writing, and speaking.
  • Keen eye and broad knowledge of African art, as well as of professional museum practices.
  • Demonstrated success in leadership and in establishing and implementing policies and procedures to achieve objectives.
  • Desire and ability to build relationships and work effectively and collaboratively across departments.
  • Preferred Education, Experience and Skills: Ph.D. in Art History or Anthropology. Experience in field research.
We invite you to discover the excitement, diversity, rewards and excellence of a career at Yale University. One of the country's great workplaces, Yale University offers exciting opportunities for meaningful accomplishment and true growth. Our benefits package is among the best anywhere, with a wide variety of insurance choices, liberal paid time off, fantastic family and educational benefits, a variety of retirement benefits, extensive recreational facilities, and much more. Yale University considers applicants for employment without regard to, and does not discriminate on the basis of an individual's sex, race, color, religion, age, disability, status as a veteran, or national or ethnic origin; nor does Yale discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity or expression.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Video of My 2016 Conversation with El Anatsui


Photo copyright Launchpadart

On March 23, 2016 (nearly a year ago), I had this public conversation with El Anatsui who was in Princeton as the Sarah Elson, Class of 1984, International Artist-in-Residence. I knew that the conversation was recorded, but only just stumbled upon a Youtube video of it. It is an hour-plus conversation that, for students and admirers of Anatsui's influential work and illustrious career, might be worth seeing:

Click HERE for the video, courtesy of Youtube: