All posts filed under: reflections

San Francisco: Back and Forth Across Place and Time

It’s been about ten days since I flew across the ocean and backward in time from Paris to San Francisco. It was a beautiful stress-free journey, one that put my anxieties for long-distance flights at ease. For some reason, everyone was particularly nice towards me. From the Airport in Paris through London Heathrow and the flight attendants of the long-haul flights all the way to the immigration officers at the San Francisco Airport (somewhat of a surprise considering the extent to which I am often harassed while traveling through airports). By the time I got to my hotel, I was exhausted. My eyes were heavy, not from sleep, I think, but from a sense of having survived the vortex of a time warp. By now, my internal clock was nine hours ahead. Everyone around me was working in slow motion. Or perhaps I was walking backward. I have been invited to San Francisco as a guest lecturer in the MFA Photography program at the Hartford University. I was to join the faculty in a weeklong …

Poetics of Location: Beyond “Africa Focus” of the Paris Art Fair 2017

Version  fraiçaise traduite par Janine Gaelle In the train from Paris to Berlin, I reflected on the events of the previous days. It was the last weekend of March 2017 and the Parisian art world was busy. This year, Paris decided to jump on the bandwagon of one of the most fashionable rave: the renewed focus on the African continent and its artists. The events, grouped under two main headings  – the Art Paris Art Fair and 100% Afrique – were further broken down into satellite programs of exhibitions and talks in such places as La Villette, Galeries La Fayette, Galerie Des Galeries, La Colonie and many more. The Art Paris Art Fair, however, was the most literal in its claim of focusing on Africa by adopting “Africa Guest of Honour” as its subtitle. In this, the well-meaning intention was to give African artists a world stage and the corresponding red carpet to showcase and sell their artistic productions. The Art Fair took place at the Grand Palais, a large historic site and exhibition hall built in 1897 in preparation for the Universal …

Dreams are Alive

For the past two weeks I have had an impossible itinerary (a word I have used a tad too often lately). I have been criss-crossing continents and cities to an extent that I am oblivious to the components and intricacies of space and time. Now I am in Paris. I always think of Paris in a love-hate manner, never conclusive of  what I make of the city. At most, I am constantly aware of my affection for this city. It was the first city I visited and lived in when I came to Europe. It formed my first impressions of Europe, of the West, of the white race. And if one would go by the adage that “First impressions matter most”, then one might as well summarise any expression of disdain or scepticism for this city as a mere secret admiration. But “matters most” does not necessarily imply “loving most”. I would say that Paris was where my consciousness and insecurities of being regarded as the “other” became tangible and for that it will always …

Diary of a Border-Being , New York.

I have been in New York for two days. Just before arriving here, I got back from a seven weeks road trip from Nigeria to Gabon. I was still fresh from the journey, barely 24 hours in between my return and take off to New York. I am in this buzzing city now; everyday waking up to the liveliness of a city that never sleeps. Sometimes I wonder, who are these people? Everyone to his or her own, paths and streets are packed with people, using the same space, living the same moment, yet one could be millions of worlds apart from the other. Running to something, shopping for something, buying pleasure. Nothing is for free – even giving is not a given.