• How To Build a Lagoon with Just a Bottle of Wine?, 2nd Lagos Biennial
    Antawan I. Byrd, Oyindamola Fakeye, and Tosin Oshinowo
    Independence House, Lagos
    Oct 26, 2019 to Nov 30, 2019
    Àkéte Art Foundation

View of Lagos Island from Independence House, 2019. Courtesy of Studio TheGreenEyl.

The second interation of the Lagos Biennial biennial titled, How To Build a Lagoon with Just a Bottle of Wine?, takes the city of Lagos as an epicenter and point of departure for a broader investigation on how contemporary artists, designers, and other creatives, respond to the challenges and possibilities of the environment today. Inspired by lines from Nigerian writer Akeem Lasisi’s poem “A Song For Lagos,” the biennial’s title calls to mind the lagoons and waterways that founded the city; the centuries-long histories of trade that transformed Lagos; and daily herculean and inconceivable activities that support the burgeoning metropolis. The Lagos Biennial opens conversations and invites reflection on social, economic, and political environments across group and solo exhibitions, installations, and public programs.

Antawan I. Byrd is assistant curator of photography at the Art Institute of Chicago and a PhD candidate in modern and contemporary art history at Northwestern University. His dissertation, “Interferences: Sound, Technology, and the Politics of Listening in Afro-Atlantic Art,” examines how artists in Africa and the African diaspora combine sound and visual technologies to address mid-twentieth century politics. Byrd was cocurator of Kader Attia: Reflecting Memory (2017) at Northwestern’s Block Museum of Art, and an associate curator for Telling Time, the 10th Bamako Encounters Biennale of African Photography (2015). He edited the biennale’s publication (Kerher Verlag, 2015) and cocurated [Re]Générations: Une exploration des archives des Rencontres de Bamako, which received the 2017 Award for Curatorial Excellence by the Arts Council of the African Studies Association. From 2009–11, Antawan was a Fulbright fellow at the Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos.

Oyindamola Fakeye is an experiential art curator and learning and participation producer working to facilitate contemporary art projects and exhibitions. She is the cofounder and director of the Video Art Network Lagos, established in 2009, and in 2014 she founded Sound Mind Africa in order to provide holistic health promotion in the area of mental and emotional wellbeing. Fakeye is currently the West African Arts Consultant for the British Council and is the 2020 Director for the Arts in Medicine Project.

Tosin Oshinowo is a registered architect in the federal republic of Nigeria and a member of the Royal Institute of the British Architects. She completed her architecture education at the Architecture Association, London, and also holds a master’s degree in urban design from the Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London. She has been lead architect at cmDesign Atelier (cmD+A), an architecture design consultancy practice based in Lagos, since 2012. Upon returning to Lagos, she practiced at James Cubitt Architects as team-lead on projects such as the master plan and corporate head office building for Nigeria LNG in Port Harcourt. Her interests are in architectural history and socially responsive approaches in architecture design and urbanism.

The Àkéte Art Foundation is a nonprofit cultural organization founded in 2016 and registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission in 2017 with the main objective of promoting contemporary art in Nigeria through the staging of the Lagos Biennial every two years.