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The 12th edition of the Dakar Biennale is currently in progress. All through the next few weeks, an international community of artists will assemble in Dakar to celebrate contemporary African art.

One of the featured art works at the biennale is a stunning installation by Nigerian writer Victor Ehikhamenor titled “The Prayer Room.”

The entire installation is a room covered wall-to wall with a strange artistic script. Utterly mesmerized by images of the room posted on Instagram and hankering for more context on the artwork, I reached out to Ehikhamenor via Facebook, and this is how he described the work.

The Prayer Room is a space where people can come and feel art almost physically, be calm and spend some time to reflect, hence the mirror as part of the installation. I work from a standpoint of history and memory, my inspiration for the prayer room is what we call “okoughele” in Esan, where elders meet and decide on community matters, coronate the village chief and also it is a place where elders pray for individuals and the community every now and then. It should not necessarily be mistaken for a shrine, shrines are different from “elders community room”, usually situated in the middle of the village.

There is something also very literary about the artwork. “The Prayer Room” could very easily be seen as a figure of writing and storytelling. Standing in The Prayer Room  is like being embedded in text or encased in writing. Perhaps it’s a new way of reading that lets us “feel [the written work] almost physically].

A really powerful work!

victorehikhamenorprayerroom2Screen Shot 2016-05-08 at 8.41.55 AMvictorehikhamenorprayerroom1victorehikhamenorprayerroomScreen Shot 2016-05-03 at 8.50.44 PMScreen Shot 2016-05-03 at 8.50.50 PMScreen Shot 2016-05-03 at 8.50.58 PMScreen Shot 2016-05-03 at 8.50.37 PM

 

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All images taken from Victor Ehikhamenor’s Instagram page.

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Ainehi Edoro is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she teaches African literature. She received her doctorate at Duke University. She is the founder and editor of Brittle Paper and series editor of Ohio University Press’s Modern African Writer’s imprint.

9 Responses to “Victor Ehikhamenor Continues to Create Spell-Binding Artwork” Subscribe

  1. nelson October 22, 2016 at 5:40 am #

    Interesting, but like a typical westerner you could not engage the artist so as to reveal the the embedded narrative.

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  1. Victor Ehikhamenor: Portraits from a world in transition – 菊外党 - October 22, 2016

    […] They Leave, a series of photos captured in 2010 Regarded as one of the most innovative contemporary artists to emerge from Nigeria, Ehikhamenor believes it is important that nuanced […]

  2. Portraits from a world in transition - October 22, 2016

    […] as one of the most innovative contemporary artists to emerge from Nigeria, Ehikhamenor believes it is important that nuanced […]

  3. Portraits from a world in transition - Child Support Mo - October 22, 2016

    […] as one of the most innovative contemporary artists to emerge from Nigeria, Ehikhamenor believes it is important that nuanced […]

  4. Portraits from a world in transition - Web News - October 22, 2016

    […] as one of the most innovative contemporary artists to emerge from Nigeria, Ehikhamenor believes it is important that nuanced […]

  5. Portraits from a world in transition - News Empires - October 22, 2016

    […] as one of the most innovative contemporary artists to emerge from Nigeria, Ehikhamenor believes it is important that nuanced […]

  6. Portraits from a world in transition | ChrContent - October 22, 2016

    […] as one of the most innovative contemporary artists to emerge from Nigeria, Ehikhamenor believes it is important that nuanced […]

  7. Portraits from a world in transition – SURE STUFF - November 1, 2016

    […] London’s 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair earlier this month. Regarded as one of the most innovative contemporary artists to emerge from Nigeria, Ehikhamenor believes it is important that nuanced […]

  8. Victor Ehikhamenor: Portraits from a world in transition – CNN – Uromi Voice - August 3, 2019

    […] as one of the most innovative contemporary artists to emerge from Nigeria, Ehikhamenor believes it is important that nuanced […]

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