babelkunst
english / norsk

periode: 15. - 24. juni 2007

AMARACHI OKAFOR
GJESTEKUNSTNER I UNESCOS STIPENDPROGRAM


Europe at Financial Times

AMARACHI OKAFOR ER ÅRETS GJESTEKUNSTNER FRA UNESCOS STIPENDPROGRAM.
Hun er fra Nigeria og er utdannet maler og skulptør.

Hennes kunstneriske medium er ofte menneskeskapte objekter som bærer preg av bruk. Ved å plassere disse i nye uvante sammenhenger ønsker hun å utforske menneskenes fremferd.´

Under sitt opphold i Trondheim har Amarachi samlet poser.
Hun har gjennomsøkt avfallsdunker i butikker og ved flaskeautomater, alle hun har kommet i kontakt med har blitt bedt om å bidra til samlingen.
Dette for å undersøke et tema som har opptatt henne under oppholdet i Trondheim; prostitusjon.
I følge PRO-senteret utgjør nigerianere majoriteten av Pro-senterets brukere.

ARTIST`S STATEMENT:
"My motivation has always been about the transformation of things, and of people. It has been my habit to collect objects associated with use, and with these, I make statements on social issues and human conditions. Objects represent to me in diverse contexts the various conducts of mankind. My mediums are made to move from their usual and recognizable situations into a new environment. The nature of these objects, as well as their environments all carry meanings as they affect the settings of the various forms my work takes, offering commentaries on personal and collective histories.

For the exhibition at Babel, I want to share with my audience, in the issues that I have dwelt on while in residence at LKV, born from the things that I have encountered here. I have just started at LKV, to investigate the idea of men and women using their bodies as economic and political material/commodity. This is an alarming condition in Norway (of foreign women- based on information in the last translated material from Prosentret, 2005-. Nigeria has the largest number of ProSentret users. It is continually increasing).

PROSTITUTION, a subject full of paradoxes and contradictions, It is a big illusion, but at the same time, it is very much at all of our doorsteps.
I still wonder what exactly prostitution is, and who could quite appropriately be called a prostitute.

It has to do with gender relations, with our sexuality and what boundaries we have for it. It has to do with our longings and dreams. It has to do with excitement and with the forbidden. It has to do with Joy, sorrow, need, pain, flight, oppression, violence, and of course shame.
It has to do majorly with POVERTY and POLITICS. It is the misery of some, and simultaneously, the topics for social discussions as well as job opportunities for others.


EXPERIENCING SHAME:
This is in Europe, where even the garbage emanating from the economy is capable of looking spectacular, charming so to speak. Where humans who have been reduced to desperation troop into, in the hope of at least being able to labor, perhaps as the garbage bin for some of this eye-catching waste.

Quite like asking to be used, I asked for disposable items from friends, because I earnestly and desperately needed it. And friends were kind enough to go through the trouble of gathering these bags for me. I would not be able to carry on with this project without their generosity and cooperation. But I was ashamed each time that I absorbed their disposable debris from them.

Quite like walking the streets, I walked shops where people enjoyed themselves shopping, I did not enjoy any bit of it; I walked by the bottle machine, collecting plastic bags that nobody else would have. I absorbed this good-looking garbage like these women would absorb this unwelcome but rewarding semen. I was grateful that I could have these bags, since I was desperate. I would not succeed if the shopkeepers did not cooperate by letting me have their cast-offs. I was not doing anything wrong, but each time I walked there, I was ashamed to be associated with a depositing area at a place where reasonable people walked, in a culture that I do not completely understand. Even so, I know nothing yet, of THE kind of shame.

But then this is in Europe. Several fellow Nigerian women flux in here, to be the dumping bins into where all sorts of men empty their charming (lucrative) garbage. These men and women are desperate, and therefore are they required to at least show gratitude. They might not succeed if the targeted people do not cooperate."

BILDER FRA OG TEKST OM UTSTILLINGEN HER!