Née en 1974 à Kano, Nigéria
Vit et travaille à Anvers, Belgique
Plasticienne et performeuse, Otobong Nkanga a suivi des études d'art à l'Obafemi Awolowo University d'Ile-Ifé, au Nigeria, et ensuite à l'Ecole Supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Paris. Elle a été résidente à la Rijksasademie van beeldende kunsten à Amsterdam, avant d'obtenir en 2008 un master en Performing Arts à Dasarts, Amsterdam.
Les dessins, installations, photographies, performances et sculptures d'Otobong Nkanga interrogent de différentes manières la notion de territoire et la valeur accordée aux ressources naturelles.
Dans son travail, La dimension performative imprègne différents média et génère toutes sortes d'oeuvres (peinture, dessin, photographie, sculpture, installation et vidéo), bien qu'elles soient toutes connectées aux thèmes du paysage et de l'architecture. Traces humaines attestant de modes de vie et de problématiques environnementales, l'Architecture et le Paysage servent de point de départ à la narration et à l'acte performatif. Selon ses propres mots, Otobong Nkanga utilise sa voix et son corps comme véhicule de ses idées, à travers des performances ou des vidéos, pour devenir la protagoniste de son propre travail.
Sa présence est paradoxalement le catalyseur de sa propre disparition, une main invisible qui met en mouvement le processus artistique. Otobong Nkanga négocie l'accomplissement du cycle de l'art entre le domaine esthétique de la monstration et une stratégie dé-sublimation qui pousse le statut d'oeuvre d'art vers sa contingence.
Dans plusieurs de ses travaux Otobong Nkanga réflechit de manière métonymique les différents usages et valeurs culturelles connectés aux ressources naturelles, explorant ainsi comment sens et fonction sont relatifs au sein de cultures, et révélant les différents rôles et histoires de ces matières, tout particulièrement dans le contexte de sa propre vie et de ses souvenirs.
Parmi les récentes expositions d’Otobong Nkanga, on peut citer :
MHKA Anvers « Bruise and Lustre » (2015) ; Kadist Foundation Paris Comot your Eyes Make I borrow you Mine (2015) ; Portikus, Francfort / Main, Allemagne (2015) ; Unisono 28 : Otobong Nkanga - Taste of a stone, Stedelijk Museum Schiedam, Schiedam, Hollande (2015) ; Diaspore, 14 Rooms Basel, Suisse, (2014); In Pursuit of Bling, 8ème Biennale de Berlin, Berlin, Allemagne (2014); Glimmer Fragments - Symposium "Landing and confessions", Stedelijk museum, Amsterdam, Pays-Bas (2014); 11ème Biennale de Sharjah, Sharjah, Emirats Arabes-Unis, (2013); Across the Board: Politics of Representation, Tate Modern, The Tanks, Londres, Royaume-Uni (2012); Inventing world: The Artist as citizen, Biennale du Bénin, Cotonou, Bénin (2012); Tropicomania: The Social life of Plants, Betonsalon, Center of art and research. Associated venue of La Triennale 2012 - Intense Proximity. Paris, France (2012); and Object Atlas - Fieldwork in the Museum, Weltkulturen Museum, Frankfurt-am-Main, Allemagne. (2012). ARS 11, Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki, Finlande. (2011)
Text by Philippe Pirotte
Born in the northern Nigerian town of Kano and currently based in Antwerp, Otobong Nkanga's drawings, installations, photographs and sculptures variously examine ideas around land and the value connected to natural resources
In the work of Nigerian artist Otobong Nkanga, activities and performance permeate all kinds of media and motivate photography, drawing, painting, sculpture, installation and video, though all the different works are thematically connected through architecture and landscape. As a human trace that testifies of ways of living and environmental issues, architecture and landscape act as a sounding board for narration and the performative. According to the artist herself, she uses her body and voice in live performances or in videos to become the protagonist in her work. However, her presence serves mostly as a self-effacing catalyst, an invisible hand that sets the artistic process in motion.
In this sense, the artist?s presence is reminiscent of the self-portraits that Velazquez or Goya included in their bigger history paintings, which exposed the making of the artwork and created an image within an image.
Born in Nigeria and living in Antwerp, Belgium, Nkanga negotiates the completion of the cycle of art between the aesthetic realm of display and a strategy of desublimation that repeatedly pushes the status of the artwork into contingency. In his text about African conceptualism, Okwui Enwezor connected the latter strategy to African traditions. Within a fluid system of exchanges and relationships between object, artist and au- dience, the object is important. When it comes to intention and meaning, however, the object paradoxically functions as an anti-perceptual entity, valuing or mobilising speech and oral communication.
An important project in relation to Nkangas ongoing examination of landscape and the value connected to natural resources beyond their marketability and immediate use was her "re-invention" of "Baggage" (2007-08), a 1972 happening originated by the Ameri- can artist Allan Kaprow. In 1972, Kaprow, along with 20 students from Rice University in Houston, transported bags of sand from a campus construction site to a beach in Galveston, where they evacuated the bags contents and returned with sea sand. The action took place without an audience and the presentation of documentation was the only way in which the happening was translated to an art public. "Baggage" was one of many happenings conducted by Kaprow dealing with the displacement of goods from one place to another. In some of these happenings Kaprow paid attention to the differences in earth colour across America, and the strong contrast he observed when they met.
When Nkanga restaged "Baggage" (2007-08), the (art-historical) notion of "landscape" would take on an importance only vaguely understood in Kaprow's original version. packaged sand from the Netherlands was sent to Lagos and in return sand from Nigeria's Delta region was sent back to the Netherlands. By taking Dutch sand to the dramatically changing landscape of Nigeria, a country rich in oil, Nkanga strongly empha- sises the notion of displacement between both continents. In the process, the artist re-politicised Kaprow's original happening. Although it is self- evident that the context of air travel, for both people and goods, has changed dramatically since 1972, the artist did not want to delve directly or too explicitly into the obvious political issues that are connected to the displacement of commodities today. She rather wanted to render a changing landscape hardly visible in a world today where products are transported from one conti- nent to another and where the origins of products (raw materials) have gone through different transformations. As the artist explained in a conversation in August 2008, this work could be a metaphor of a situation where we see "displacement" in a broader context, as not only to the movement of goods, but also human displacement.
In many of her works Nkanga reflects metonymically on the use and cultural value connected to natural resources. Featured on the Studio museum?s 2008 exhibition "Flow", her photographic diptych "Alterscapes" (2006) shows the artist as a demiurge, spilling an undefined blue liquid on a landscape. "Contained measures of Tangible memories" (2009), a more recent installation, features two duplicate mobile plinths on top of which the artist has placed five bowls containing mica, black soap, cassia fistula, indigo dye and alum, natural materials that are available in both morocco and Nigeria, but used in completely different ways. The work, shown on the 2009 Arts in marrakech biennial, explores how meaning and function are relative within cultures, and reveals different roles and histories for the same products, particularly within the context of the artist's autobiography and memories. Connected to the domain of art, perversity lingers in the idea that exploitation is fundamental to culture when culture is defined as the adaptation of natural resources towards human ends. Nkanga refrains from entering the realm of the perverse by only creating a vehicle for showing and transporting the resources, she does not make a new product out of them. (She repeated this strategy in her work "Contained measures of Fragments pointe Noire" (2009), which focuses on the specific colours of earth found in pointe Noire, Congo; bags of sand were pierced during the opening of the exhibi- tion and slowly spilled out to shape a new landscape within the installation.)
Nkanga's various photographic works evidence a more documentary approach to the interrogation of the implications of human acts and their effects on varied environments and contexts. In her series "Dolphin Estate" (2008), she photographed a Lagos housing estate that controversially employed prefabricated building techniques. Completed in 1992, Dolphin Estate has," explains the artist, "gradually fallen into a state of disrepair leaving the residents to take care for their daily needs such as water, electricity and deal with flooding problems". Nkanga's photographs show the results and conditions of a long lost dream. The American- sounding name of the housing estate, which comprises two-and three-bedroom flats and four-bedroom duplexes, suggests a suburban utopia, but in reality the buildings are often inadequately equipped. Dwellings are often improvised and added to. Nkanga's photographs show these makeshift alterations, which include large, vividly coloured water tanks precariously installed outside.
on a meta-level "Dolphin Estates" seems to tackle the moral questions connected to the aesthetics of non-architecture and the originality that animates parallel urbanity, as a source of inspiration for artists and archi-tects. Again, as in other works, it is a question that revolves around the paradoxes of exploitation.
Nkanga's 2005 - 06 series of drawings, "Delta Stories", hover between a personal and a universal account of the resource-driven conflicts in the Niger Delta where the local population considers the exploitation of nature as a source of environmental problems and destruction. The positivistic classification of natural things, through ob- servation, measurement and the application of purely quantitative methods, is considered to disrupt our rela- tionship to them and encourage the undesirable attitude that they are nothing more than things to be probed, consumed and dominated. The crisis in the Delta arose in the early 1990s over tensions between foreign oil corporations and a number of the region's minority ethnic groups. Competition for oil wealth, which forms part of an ongoing "scramble for Africa", has fuelled most of the violence, but the conflict is also symptomatic of a clash of opposing world-views. Some drawings resemble topographical maps punctuated by pins (standing for oil wells ?) indexing territorial occupation, although they also indirectly remind one of an animal skin, as a trophy to be taken. The level of abstraction brings to mind the legacy of colonial mapping; at the same time the distanced view invokes the positivism of science and technology, which not only removes our fear of nature, by promising limitless knowledge and power, but also destroys our sense of awe and wonder towards it.
Nkanga's "Delta Stories" (2005 / 06), and related drawing projects, like the "pointe Noire Fragments" (2009) or "Social Consequences I and II" (both 2009), form a meditation on the exploitation of natural resources in a mostly allegorical way. one of the most interesting principles in the artist's drawing method, which I would call a type of organic animation, is that she uses a part of the drawing or an entire sheet to test the colours to be used, these dots appear in a cluster in the top left corner and form a patchwork suffused with everything that comes out of it. It seems as if the drawings set themselves in motion, a characteristic which is most obvious
in "Social Consequences II", a six-page acrylic drawing where the patches give birth to a complete machinery ("The overload"), including corporate buildings with needles that threaten human silhouettes ("projectiles"), which in turn are occupied with an observation device ("piercing pressure"), directly connected to a mechanical apparatus ("hostage") moving disembodied arms extracting resources from the soil ("Wastescape"), and in the end piercing wells that spoil water ("The overflow"). Covering the wide range of changes from human value creation to corporate value extraction, the representations of actions in a narrative, equated with the meanings that lie outside the narrative itself, hint "ex negativo" to the corporate world, which achieved monopoly control, prohibiting locals by law from competing against corporations in extracting resources or selling them goods. 
In his later work, German philosopher Theodor Adorno advocated an aesthetic attitude of "sensuous immediacy" towards nature. Adorno borrows the term, which he considers the defining characteristic of art, from hegel's "Aesthetics" (1885). In his own "Aesthetic Theory"(2004) Adorno considers "the sensuous" as part of aesthetic understanding, which is considered a resistant quality against quantification or a quality that remains after the violence of naming and categorising. Aesthetic understanding makes note of the sensuous, the non-rational, that is
so often dismissed as merely irrational and that cannot be exhausted by rational codification. This means an acknowledgement of the possibilities to be directly and spontaneously acquainted with nature without interventions of our rational faculties. Adorno refers to the "excess" in works of art, something more than their mere materiality and exchange value, which is akin to natural things, and should therefore be able to re- enchant the world through aesthetic experience, which would at the same time be a re-enchantment of lives and purposes. 
otobong Nkanga acknowledges this in her work, but at the same time expresses scepticism. In her recent sculpture, "The operation" (2008), which Nkanga showed as a part of her "Contained measures" installation in Las palmas, she suspended the root of an orange tree from a wall in the Casa Africa gallery. Decorated with Til- landsia plants, the severed root was pierced with long stainless steel needles. A key gesture in Nkanga's work, the piercing was done with scientific precision.
1. okwui Enwezor, "Where, What, Who, When: A Few Notes on African Conceptualism", in: Global Conceptualism: points of origin, 1950s - 1980s, (New York: Queens museum of Art, 1999), p.110.
2. It is in the nature of the time- and performance-related work of American artist Allan Kaprow that, in principle, a happening - or an "activity" as he called his work later on - cannot be repeated. Nevertheless, Kaprow himself re-enacted a large number of pieces on several occasions. In the 1980s he made the first "re-inventions", often with surprisingly changed ingredients and outcome. According to Kaprow activities and happenings do not grow old over the years; it is not nostalgic to repeat works but rather a challenge to adapt them to the moment, to the issues and themes, maybe even the fashion of today - as long as the "central metaphor", as he called it, was maintained. By this the works stay contemporary, comparable to the transmissions of content in oral history. See: philippe pirotte, - participation. A Legacy of Allan Kaprow -, in An Invention of Allan Kaprow for the moment, philippe pirotte (Kunsthalle Bern, 2009), p.9.
3. See paola Berenstein Jacques, Esthetique des Favelas, L'harmattan, paris, 2002
4. The corporation, as a virtual entity, mediates all lateral contact between people or small companies and businesses, and it redirects all created value to a select group of investors. According to artist Walead Beshty, corporations are a multitude of voices congealed into a singular entity, a transcription of an ephemeral set of compromises and competing agendas given a unified voice. Beshty further notes Gilles Deleuze's characterisation of the corporation as a spirit and wonders what it means for that ghost to speak. Like most innovations of the colonial era persisting in postcolonial times, that ghost extracts value from the so-called periphery and brings
it back to the so-called centre. See Walead Beshty, "American Ingenuity (And the Failure of the Readymade)", in Afterall magazine No. 17 (Antwerp, London, Los Angeles, 2008), p.23.
5. Some students of Adorno's work have recently argued that his account of the role of "sensuous immediacy" can be understood as an attempt to defend a ?legitimate anthropomorphism? that comes close to a weak form of animism. See Jay Bernstein, Adorno: Disenchantment and Ethics (Cambridge: Cambridge University press, 2001), p.196.
Otobong Nkanga: To Dig a Hole that Collapses Again, MCA - Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, USA
Galerie In Situ-Fabienne Leclerc, Paris, France
Landversation Beirut, Beirut Art Center, Liban
Transhistory, Museum Arnhem, Arnhem, Pays Bas
The Encounter That Took a Part of Me, Nottingham Contemporary, Nottingham, UK
Comot Your eyes make a borrow you mine, Kadist Foundation Paris, France
Crumbling Through Powdery Air, Portikus, Francfort, Allemagne
Unisono 28 : Otobong Nkanga - Taste of a stone, Stedelijk Museum Schiedam, Schiedam, Hollande
Bruises and Lustre, M HKA, Anvers Museum, Anvers, Belgique
Tracing confessions, Museum Folkwang, Essen, Allemagne
Glimmer: Fragments in “Landings: Confrontation and Confession”, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Hollande
Diaspore, Live performance at 14 Rooms – Bâle, Suisse
Across the Board: Politics of Representation, performance and installation piece Contained Measures of Shifting States, Tate Modern, The Tanks, London, United Kingdom
However Long the Night, The Dawn Will Break, Lumen Travo Gallery, Amsterdam, Hollande
Contained Measures of Tangible Memories: Indigo Regina, L'appartement 22, Rabat, Maroc
The Western Syndrome, (with Pirkle Jones), La Bank Gallery, Paris, France
No Be Today Story O!, Lumen Travo Gallery, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. (With artist book and special editions)
L'edition Populaire #1, Vitrine Gallery, Antwerp, Belgium
Pointe Noire Fragments, Centre Culturel Français, Pointe-Noire, Congo
Diagonal Views, Nieuwe Vide, Haarlem, Hollande
Smokescreen, Fokus 2, (with Jens Haaning), Kunstverein Springhornhof, Neuenkirchen, Allemagne (With artist book)
On Fragile Grounds, Window Gallery and Objectif_exhibitions as part of "CLOSE READING #3", Antwerp, Belgique
Classicism & Beyond, Fotofest 2002, Project Row Houses, Houston, Texas, USA (With catalogue)
Être pierre, Musée Zadkine, France
I am a native foreigner, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, AMsterdam, Netherlands
The Tanks, Tate Modern, Londen, UK
Tous, des sang-mêlés, MAC VAL, France
Manifesta Biennal, The European Biennal of Contemporary Art, Amsterdam, Netherlands
The encounter that took a part of me, Kunstal Aarhus, Denmark
Carved To Flow, Documenta 14, Athens, Greece
Carved To Flow, Documenta 14, Kassel, Germany
Belgian Art Prize, Bozar, Belgium
Le musée absent, WIELS, Bruxelles, Belgium
En toute modestie - Archipel Dirosa, Musée Internation des Arts Modestes (MIAM), Sète, France
Colori, Castello di Rivoli Museum of Contemporary Art / GAM, Torino, Italy
Beautiful Africa, La Galerie du 5e, Marseille, France
En marge, Galerie In SItu - Fabienne Leclerc, Paris, France
Kaleidoscope: It’s Me to the World, Modern Art Oxford, UK
Life Itself, Moderna Museet, Stockolm, Sweden
Gwangju Bienniale, Korea
EVA International, Ireland’s Biennial
ON/OFF, Centre Pompidou, Paris
Biennale de Sydney, Australia
Streamlines, Oceans, Global Trades and Migration, Kulturstiftung-des-bundes, Hambourg, Germany
El Iris de Lucy, MUSAC MUSEUM, Castilla y Léon, Spain
La vie moderne, 13e Biennale de Lyon, France
Take me (I am Yours) La Monnaie de Paris, France
Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum - Michigan State University, USA
Biennale de São Paulo, Bresil
Diaspore, 14 Rooms, Basel, Switzerland
8th Berlin Biennale, Germany
Animism, Ashkal Alwan/Home Workspace, Beirut, Lebanon
Foreign Exchange/Ware & Wissen (or the stories you wouldn't tell a stranger), Weltkulturen Museum, Frankfurt-am-Main, Germany. (With catalogue).
The Megacity and The Non-City, LagosPhoto Festival 2013, Lagos, Nigeria.
Play! Recapturing the Radical Imagination, Göteborg International Biennial of Contemporary Art, Goteborg, Sweden.
Earth Matters: Land as Material and Metaphor in the Arts of Africa, National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian, Washington DC, USA.Sharjah Biennial 11, Re: Emerge Towards a New Cultural Cartography, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates.
Art Dubai 2013, Dubai, UAE.
Ja Natuurlijk, Gemeente Museum, Den Haag, The Netherlands.
Shuffling Cards - Mouvement Aléatoire des Cartes, Galerie des Grands Bains Douches de la Plaine, Marseille, France. 50 Days at Sea, Antwerp Pavilion, Shanghai Biennale, Shanghai, China
Inventing World: The Artist as Citizen, Biennale Benin, Cotonou, Benin.
Amsterdam Drawing, An Art Fair for Original Works on Paper, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
De Nederlandse Identiteit- Half Suiker, Half Zand, De recente geschiedenis door de ogen van mister Motley, Museum De Paviljoens, The Netherlands. Manifest Aanwezig (Manifestly Present), Parallel Events Manifesta 9: The European Biennale of Contemporary Art in Genk. Kasteel d'Aspremont- Lynden, Old Rekem, Belgium. (with exhibition guide)
Tropicomania: The Social Life of Plantes, Betonsalon, Center of art and research. Associated venue of La Triennale 2012 - Intense Proximity. Paris, France. (With exhibition guide).
Art Rotterdam, with Lumen Travo Gallery, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
Object Atlas - Fieldwork in the Museum, Weltkulturen Museum, Frankfurt-am-Main, Germany. (With catalogue).
Don't/Panic, Durban Art Gallery, Durban, South Africa.
Connect, Group exhibition Rijksakademie Alumni, with Lumen Travo Gallery, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
The Altered Landscape, Photographs of a Changing Environment, Nevada Museum of Art, Reno, Nevada, USA. (With catalogue).
MarklinWorld, Kunsthalle KAdE, Amersfoort, The Netherlands. (With catalogue).
The Collectors Show, part of Vanuit Hier - Out of Here, Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, The Netherlands.
L'inattendu du Tout Monde, Un Hommage a Goddy Leye, L'appartement 22, Rabat, invited by Art-O-Rama, Marseille, France.
All We Ever Wanted, Center of Contemporary Arts, Lagos, Nigeria.
Summer Show, Lumen Travo Gallery, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Outre Mesures et Programmes Radio (Maps, Timelines, Radio Programmes), La Galerie Contemporary Art Center, Noisy-le-Sec, France. (With exhibition guide).
FaitesCommes Chez Vous, Raw Material Company, A center for art, knowledge and society. Dakar, Senegal.
ARS 11, Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki, Finland. (With catalogue).
Africa, Objects and Subjects, Centro de Expositiones Fernan Gomez, Madrid, Spain
Sentences onthe Banks and Other Activities, Darat al Funun, Amman, Jordan.
WorldFestivalofBlackArtsandCulture, Dakar, Senegal. BodyLanguage, Lumen Travo Gallery, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
TheProductionofSpace, The Studio Museum Harlem, New York, USA.Unfixed, CBK (Center for Contemporary Arts Dordrecht), Dordrecht, The Netherlands.
FIAC, with Lumen Travo Gallery, Amsterdam, Grand Palais and Louvre, Paris, France
There Is AlwaysA CupOfSeaToSailIn, 29th BiennialofSao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil. (With catalogue).
MakeYourselfatHome, Kunsthal Charlottenbourg, Copenhagen, Denmark. (With catalogue).
Africa, ObjectsandSubjects, Palacio Revillagigedo, Gijon, Spain. (With catalogue).
A ProposalForArticulatingWorksandPlaces(Part2), Riso Museo d'Arte Contemporanea della Sicilia, Palermo, Italy.
Whose MapIsIt-INIVA (Institute of International Visual Arts), Rivington Place, London, United Kingdom.
CommonGround, Nieuw Dakota, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Amsterdam Art Fair, with Lumen Travo Gallery, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Animism, Kunsthalle Bern, Bern, Switzerland. (With catalogue).Une Aiguille dansuneBottedeFoin, Printemps des Poètes, Museédu Quai Branly, Paris, France.
Animism, Extra City Kunsthal and M HKA Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst, Antwerpen, Belgium. (With catalogue)
Sentences on the Banks and Other Activities, Darat al Funun, Amman, Jordan.
World Festival of Black Arts and Culture, Dakar, Senegal.
Body Language, Lumen Travo Gallery, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
The Production of Space, The Studio Museum Harlem, New York, USA.
Unfixed, CBK (Center for Contemporary Arts Dordrecht), Dordrecht, The Netherlands.
FIAC, with Lumen Travo Gallery, Amsterdam, Grand Palais and Louvre, Paris, France
There Is Always A Cup Of Sea To Sail In, 29th Biennial of Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil. (With catalogue).
Make Yourself at Home, Kunsthal Charlottenbourg, Copenhagen, Denmark. (With catalogue).
Africa, Objects and Subjects, Palacio Revillagigedo, Gijon, Spain. (With catalogue).
A Proposal For Articulating Works and Places (Part 2), Riso Museo d'Arte Contemporanea della Sicilia, Palermo, Italy.
Whose Map Is It? INIVA (Institute of International Visual Arts), Rivington Place, London, United Kingdom.
Common Ground, Nieuw Dakota, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Amsterdam Art Fair, with Lumen Travo Gallery, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Animism, Kunsthalle Bern, Bern, Switzerland. (With catalogue).
Une Aiguille dans une Botte de Foin, Printemps des Poètes, Museé du Quai Branly, Paris, France.
Animism, Extra City Kunsthal and M HKA Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst, Antwerpen, Belgium. (With catalogue).
A Delicate Touch, Watercolors from the Permanent Collection, The Studio Museum Harlem, New York, USA.
AIM International Biennale 3rd Edition, Marrakech, Morocco.
Autres Mesures, Curator Cécile Bourne-Farrell, Centre Photographique Ile de France, Pontault-Combault, France.
Art Brussels, 27th Contemporary Art Fair, Nomad Moba Gallery, Brussels, Belgium.
This is Now 2, L'Appartement 22, Rabat, Morocco.
Re/Presentaciones: Ellas, Casa Africa, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Canary Island, Spain. (With catalogue).
This is Now 1, L'appartement22, Rabat, invited to the 1st Johannesburg Art Fair, South Africa.
Delight, Arti et Amicitiae, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Flow, The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, USA. (With catalogue).
Snap Judgments, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. (With catalogue).
Snap Judgments, Brooks Museum of Arts, Memphis, USA. (With catalogue).
Africa Remix, Contemporary Art of a Continent, Johannesburg Art Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa.
Simmels Gelijk, Over het IJ Festival, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Allan Kaprow, Kunst Als Leben, Kunsthalle Bern, Switzerland.
Snap Judgments, The National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Canada. (With catalogue).
Snap Judgments, Tamayo Museum, Mexico city, Mexico. (With catalogue).
1st Architecture, Art & Landscape Biennial of the Canaries, Canary Islands, Spain.
Snap Judgments, Miami Art Central, Miami, USA. (With catalogue).
De Grote Oversteek, Stedelijk Museum, Zwolle, The Netherlands. (With catalogue).
Shared History/Decolonising the Image, Arti et Amicitiae, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Generique, Galerie 14, Paris, France.
There & Back, La Casa Encendida, Madrid, Spain. (With catalogue).
One Game - Many Worlds, Football in inter-cultural comparison, Münchner Stadtmuseum. Munich, Germany.
Snap Judgments, International Center of Photography, New York, USA. (With catalogue).
Africa Remix, Zeitgenössische Kunst eines Kontinents, Mori Art Museum, Tokyo. (With catalogue).
Belonging, Sharjah International Biennial 7, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. (With catalogue).
North /South Lab, Tanzquartier, Vienna, Austria.
Africa Remix, Zeitgenössische Kunst eines Kontinents, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris. (With catalogue).
Africa Remix, Zeitgenössische Kunst eines Kontinents, Hayward Gallery, London. (With catalogue)
Flying Circus Project, TheatreWorks Ltd, Singapore.
Do You Believe in Reality?, Taipei Biennial, Taiwan. (With catalogue).
Free Territory, 26th Sao Paulo biennial, Sao Paulo, Brazil. (With catalogue).
Flash Right, Turn Left, Artwalk, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Africa Remix, Zeitgenössische Kunst eines Kontinents Museum Kunst Palast, Düsseldorf, Germany. (With catalogue).
Women Artist, No 4, Peter Hermann Gallery, Berlin, Germany.
Epifyten, De Klassieke Hortus als Voedingsbodem voor Hedendaagse Kunst, Hortus Botanicus, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. (With catalogue).
El Arte Con La Vida, VIII Biennale de la Habana, Havana, Cuba. (With catalogue).
MIP, International Performance Manifestation, CEIA, Belo Horizonte, Brazil.
Transferts, Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels, Belgium. (with catalogue).
Shift and Wait, Collaborative work with Le Petit Jaunais Edition House. Maison de la Loire, Paris, France.
Awaiting Pleasures, Open Ateliers, Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Classicism & Beyond, Fotofest 2002, Project Row Houses, Houston, Texas, USA. (With catalogue).
Observatorio # 3, Casa Camouflage, Brussels, Belgium.
Dak-Art 2002, 5th Biennale of African Contemporary Art, Dakar, Senegal. (with catalogue).
Rond Point, La Halle de Gombe, Kinshasa, RDCongo.
Observatorio # 1, Casa Camouflage, Brussels, Belgium.
Made In Africa Fotografia, Biennale di Fotografia Africana/ Sparzio Oberdan, Milan, Italy. (With catalogue).
En Direct De Bamako, Galerie Photo Fnac Etoile, Paris, France.
Dessins XXL, Le Lieu Unique, Nantes, France. (With catalogue).
Memoires Intimes D'un Nouveau Millenaire, IV Biennale de la Photographie Africaine, Bamako, Mali. (With catalogue).
Infamous Labels No 10, Bateau Phare collaborating with The Research program, ENSBA, Paris, France.
Diaoptasia, BMW Tate Live : Performance Room, TATE MODERN, London, UK
Take Me I'm Yours, Monnaie de Paris, Paris, France
Diaspore, 14 Rooms, Art Basel
Glimmer: Fragments, Landing Symposium: Confrontation and confessions, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Glimmer: Aurum. Das Jubiläumsfestival, 50 years of the Berliner Künstlerprogramm des DAAD, 1963 - 2013, Berlin, Germany.
Glimmer, Berliner Herbstsalon, Maxim Gorki theatre, Berlin, Germany.
Face me, I Face you, Berliner Herbstsalon, Maxim Gorki theatre, Berlin, Germany.
Where Gist you, (with Eunhye Hwang), Berliner Herbstsalon, Maxim Gorki theatre, Berlin, Germany.
When all things flow, the bird sings, FF Temporary Autonomous Zone, Berlin, Germany.
Taste of a Stone: Itiat Esa Ufok, Sharjah Biennial 11, Sharjah, UAE.
Contained Measures of Shifting States, Across the Board: Politics of Representation, Tate Modern, The Tanks, London, United Kingdom.
Sing, I will tell you who we be, Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Contained Measures of a Kolanut, Tropicomania: The Social Life of Plants, Betonsalon, Center of Art and Research. Associated venue of La Triennale 2012 - Intense Proximity. Paris, France.
Baggage 1972 - 2007-08, Allan Kaprow/Otobong Nkanga, Partitions (Performances), Fondation d'entreprise Ricard, Paris, France.
A Song for the Moment, Brussels living room Festival, Brussels, Belgium
Baggage 1972 - 2007-08, Allan Kaprow/Otobong Nkanga, Festival Theatreformen, Braunschweig, Germany.
Tropicology, Nieuw Dakota, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Things, Carla Mittersteig, Vienna, Austria.
Baggage 1972 - 2007-08, Allan Kaprow/Otobong Nkanga, Arco Art Fair, Madrid, Spain.
Baggage 1972 - 2007-08, Allan Kaprow/Otobong Nkanga, Kunsthalle Bern, Switzerland.
Baggage 1972 - 2007-08, Allan Kaprow/Otobong Nkanga, De Appel, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Arrested Moment before the State of Amnesia crops in, 1st Architecture, Art & Landscape Biennial of the Canaries.
Unravelling, Arti et Amicitiae and the Muiderpoort Theatre, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Dream in One Meter Square, Belonging, Sharjah International Biennial 7, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates.
Surgical Hits #03, (The Needle), Tanzquartier, Vienna, Austria.
Surgical Hits #02, (The Needle), Theatre Works Ltd, Singapore.
Surgical Hits #01, (The Needle), Kunst Palast Museum, Düsseldorf, Germany.
On fragile grounds, Window Gallery and Objectif_Exhibitions as part of "Close Reading #3", Antwerp, Belgium.
Fractured Gaps, Group performance involving 6 dancers, Open Ateliers, Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Shift and Wait, International Performance Manifestation, CEIA, Belo Horizonte, Brazil.
State of Amnesia, International Performance Manifestation, CEIA, Belo Horizonte, Brazil.
Perfect Measures, Transferts, Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels, Belgium.
Sustained Suture, Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten, The Netherlands.
The new acquisition of Jennifer McBright, Classicism & Beyond, Fotofest 2002, Project Row Houses, Houston, Texas, USA.
Bomboyi, Ecole des Beaux-Arts Kinshasa, Chooseone Organisation, Paris, Rond Point, La Halle de Gombe, Kinshasa, RDCongo.
The Dual Match, (Footpitch), TOXIC, Chateau d'Oiron, Oiron, France.
Yanghyun Prize, 2015
Shifting States- Platforms for Experimentation, Dutch Art Institute, DAI, Master program of ArtEZ, Arnhem, The Netherlands.
Voice : Creature of Transition, Lecture performance, Studium Generale Rietveld Academie, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
1:54 Forum, Artist talk : Hans Ulrich Obrist in converstion with Otobong Nkanga, 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair, London, United Kingdom.
Facing the Opponent: Fieldwork at the Weltkulturen Museum Frankfurt. Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz, Max Planck Institut, Florence, Italy.
Artist Talk: with Otobong Nkanga, Institut für Raumexperimente, Universität der Künste Berlin, Berlin, Germany.
Art Basel Salon, The Global Artworld, Focus Africa, Basel, Switzerland.
Think-Tank II: Persecuted, Mourned, Pitied, Admired/Collected and Photographed, Weltkulturen Museum, Frankfurt, Germany.
Art as a meeting point, with Andrea Buddensieg, Otobong Nkanga and Joanna Warsza, discussion organized by Antje Majewski, FF Temporary Autonomous Zone, Berlin, Germany.
Sharjah Biennial 11 panel discussion with Hoor-Al-Qasimi, Yuko Hasegawa and Otobong Nkanga, Sharjah, UAE.
Think-Tank I: The administration of people and goods, Weltkulturen Museum, Frankfurt, Germany.
The Impossible Aesthetic: Situating Research in Arts and Social Sciences/Humanities "Artistic Research and Museum" Collections, Lessons from the Weltkulturen Museum, Frankfurt, Zentrum Moderner Orient, Berlin, Germany.
Performance Year Zero: A living History "Conversation: Knowing through Doing" Otobong Nkanga with Catherine Wood, Part of the series The Tanks: Art in Action, London, United Kingdom.
Permeabilities, Presentation of works and workshop with participants at CEIA, 8th international event, Belo Horizonte, Brazil.
When the stage hits you, workshop with the Dutch Art Institute students, DAI, Master program of ArtEZ, Arnhem, The Netherlands.
Art-iculate: A performative lecture by Otobong Nkanga, CCA, Lagos, Nigeria.
Tracks and traces of violences conferences, Lecture Performance by Otobong Nkanga, The University of Bayreuth, (BIGSAS), Germany.
Clark-Mellon Workshop: International Initiatives and Regional Collaboration, The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts, USA.
6000 Collectors : Experimental Talks with Objects, Lecture by Otobong Nkanga, Weltkulturen Museum, Frankfurt am Main, Germany.
Presentation of project at Outre Mesures et Programmes Radio (Maps, Timelines,Radio Programmes), La Galerie Contemporary Art Center, Noisy-le-Sec, France.
Workshop and project, Intituto Buena Bista, Curacao Center for Contemporary Arts, Residency Program, Curacao, The Netherland Antilles.
Workshop Unfixed, Photography and postcolonial perspectives in contemporary art, CBK Dordrecht, Dordrecht.
Memory as a photographic process, presentation at Unfixed Symposium, CBK Dordrecht, Dordrecht, The Netherlands.
Otobong Nkanga's works on Land and Mapping, presentation at Crossing Boundaries symposium, Royal Geographical Society, London, United Kingdom.
Presentation of works in Whose Map Is It?, INIVA (Institute of International Visual Arts), Rivington Place, London, United Kingdom.
Artist talk at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Workshop and project with the students of Haute École d'Art et de Design, Geneva, Switzerland (in collaboration with Alexandra Bachzetsis).
Lecture and Workshop State of Bodies/ Suffering, Mieke van de Voort, Generale Staten and Game/Performance. Utrecht, The Netherlands.
Discussion and round table at Foam Fotografie Museum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Studio Visits, Masters Programme, Dutch Art Institute (DAI), Enschede, The Netherlands.
Seminar on African literature, Casa Encendida, Madrid, Spain.
Lecture at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Kinshasa, R.D. Congo.
References and reviews
Foreign Exchange/Ware & Wissen (or the stories you wouldn't tell a stranger, exhibition catalogue, Diaphanes publishers, edited by Clementine Deliss and Yvette Mutumba, p. 101 - 102, 118, 133, 140, 150, 162 - 163, 290.
Play! Recapturing the Radical Imagination, Göteborg International Biennial of Contemporary Art, exhibition catalogue, p. 90 - 91.
Asynchronous Objects, by Susanne Leeb, Globalismus Globalism ,Texte Zur Kunst, September 2013, 23 Jahrgang, Heft 91, p. 48, 52 - 53, 56.
Animism, by Anselm Franke, /exhibition catalogue, p. 120 - 121.
Across the Board: Otobong Nkanga and Nástio Mosquito, by Elvira Dyangani Ose, in: Atlántica #53, Journal of Art and Thought, p. 142-149.
Sharjah Biennial 11, Re: Emerge Towards a New Cultural Cartography, exhibition catalogue, p. 436 - 439.
Earth Matters: Land as Material and Metaphor in the Arts of Africa, National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian, exhibition catalogue, p. 178 - 180.
Ja Natuurlijk/Yes Naturally : How art saves the world, Neit Normaal Foundation, Nai010 publishers, exhibition catalogue, p. 88 -91, 94.
Jenseits der Vitrine/Beyond the Vitrine by Jan-Philipp Possmann, Spike Art Magazine, Art Quarterly No 35, p. 50, 53.
Mich interessiert das wo, was und warum, by Dorina Hecht, in: Artmapp, Antwerpen, Winter 2012/13, p. 28-29.
Object Atlas - Feldforshung im Frankfurter Weltkulturen-Museum, by Dagmar Mundhenke, in: Africa Positive, Nummer 45, p. 42.
Re-make, Re-model, by Catherine Wood, in: Frieze Masters, No 1, p. 38-39.
Tropicomania, La vie sociale des plantes, exhibition catalogue. Betonsalon, Centre d'Art et de Recherche, p. 15.
Unfixed, Photography and postcolonial perspectives in contemporary art. Edited by Sara Blokland and Asmara Pelupessy. Unfixed projects, Japsam books, p. 48-53 and p. 202-204.
Object Atlas-Fieldwork in the Museum, Weltkulturen Museum, Kerber Forum, edited by Clementine Deliss, p. 153-197.
MärklinWorld : A model of the world by 40 artists, exhibition catalogue, KA Series 14, Kunsthal KAdE, p.123.
Altered Landscape : Photographs of a changing environment. Collection of the Nevada Museum of Art, edited by Ann M. Wolfe, Skira Rizzoli publications Inc., p. 56-57.
29th Biennial of Sao Paulo, Catalogue, p. 194-195.
Make Yourself at Home, Kunsthal Charlottenbourg, Exhibition catalogue, p. 54-58, 98-99.
Africa. Objetos y Sujetos, Cajastur, Exhibition catalogue, p. 286-287.
Social Consequences, by Philippe Pirotte, in: Art South Africa, Volume 09, Issue 01, Spring 2010, p. 66-69.
Africa, Objects and Subjects, Palacio Revillagigedo, Gijon, Spain, p. 286-287.
Contemporary African Art since 1980, Okwui Enwezor & Chika Okeke-Agulu, p. 280, 327.
Animism, Volume I. Edited by Anselm Franke, 2010, p. 211-212.
An intervention of Allan Kaprow for the moment, documentation of all Re-Interventions and Re-enactments of Happenings and Environments, Kunsthalle Bern.
Foam Album 08, 2nd Edition, p. 184.
Kunstbeeld.nl Magazine, Het tijdschrift voor beeldende kunst, Nr 9 2009, p. 16-17.
Flow, The Studio Museum Harlem Exhibition catalogue, p. 94-95.
Frieze Magazine, Issue 116, June-August 2008, Sean O'Toole.
Le Monde Diplomatique, August 2008 : 55e année - N° 653, p. 25.
Seeing Africa through African eyes, 17-30th Juillet 2008, by Vincent Solomon, in: Amsterdam Weekly, p. 10.
ZAM Magazine, Africa Magazine Summer 2008, no. 2, p. 20-21.
New Talents, in: Blend NL Magazine, Issue 31, July 2008, p. 55.
1st Architecture, Art & Landscape Biennial of the Canaries, Canary Island, p. 256-257.
Snap Judgements, New positions in contemporary African Photography, Okwui Enwezor, p. 34, 160-165, 367.
MIP, International performance manifestation CEIA, p. 132-133, 164-165.
Belonging, 7th Sharjah Biennial, p. 354-357.
Território Livre, 26th Sao Paulo Biennial, national representations, p. 238-239.
Zonder internationale uitwisseling geen kunst; De Stelling, een gesprek met Otobong Nkanga, by Saskia Monshouwer, in: Kunstbeeld, no. 9, p. 48-49.
Africa Remix, Zeitgenössische kunst eines kontinents, Museum Kunst Palast, p. 214-215.
Shifting Map, Artists' platform and strategies for cultural diversity, RAIN Artists' Initiatives Network, Nai publishers Rotterdam, p. 46.
Epifyten, de klassieke hortus als voedingsbodem voor hedendaagse kunst!, Hortus Botanicus Amsterdam, p. 19-21.
Flash Art, Issue November - December, p. 88.
Mondiale Maalstroom by Christine Vuegen, in: Kunstbeeld, Issue no. 6, p. 10-11.
Transferts, Brussels, page 138-143, Exhibition catalogue.
El arte con la vida, 8th Bienal de la Habana catalogue, p. 168, 329.
No Palco, Vitoria de Visibilade, by Walter Sebastiao, Estada de Minas - Sexta Fiera, Brasil.
Kunst met Afrikaanse roots, by Lars Kwakkenbos, De Standard, Belgium.
Flash Art International, Vol. XXXIV no. 225, Issue July - September, p. 49, 59.
Blink, 100 Photographers 10 Curators 10 Writers, Simon Njami, Phaidon Press, London, p. 276-279.
PF fotographie (BLINK), by Robbert Roos, in: PF, Magazine voor fotographie en imaging, Issue no. 6, p. 16-18.
Classicism & Beyond, Fotofest, 9th International Biennal of Photography catalogue, p. 176-179.
Made in Africa_fotografia, by Michela Manservisi (curator), Epicentro Edition, Italy, Exhibition catalogue, p. 78-79.
Dessins XXL, Filigranes Edition Exhibition catalogue.
Dak'Art, V Biennale of African Contemporary Art catalogue, p. 50.
Memoires Intimes d'un Nouveau Millenaire, by Akinbode Akinbiyi, IV Biennale de la Photographie Africaine, Bamako, catalogue, Mali, p. 140-149.
Anthologie de l'Art African du vingtieme siècle, by N'gone Fall, Revue Noire Editions, p. 396-397.
Telerama, Issue no. 2702, p. 68-69.
Nigeria, by Jean Loup Pivin, Revue Noire, no. 30, Paris, p. 38-39
Portikus Sternberg Press, June 2017