The Two Worlds of Nigerian Artist/Photographer J. A. Green: Lecture by Dr Lisa Aronson

2pm, 5 September 2012

As the first professional photographer of Nigerian birth, Jonathan Adagogo Green (1873-1905), can be seen as an important voice for Nigeria’s early modernist art movement. Moreover, his photographic work reveals that he was straddling two worlds, one, his own as an IbaniIjo young man born into an elite trading family, and , the other, as the chief photographer for the British as they lay the foundation for the newly formed colony of Nigeria.

This talk looks at Green’s photographs from these two perspectives. It does so, first, by laying out the various ways in which the British utilized Green’s photographs to promote and justify their colonizing mission, and, then, by showing how his photographs documented and promoted local Ijo history and culture for the benefit of his people, using an early modernist vision to do so.

Lisa Aronson is Associate Professor Art History at Skidmore College. Her scholarship has focused on African textiles and trade, issues of gender in African art, and most recently, contemporary African art and African photography.  Her work on the early Nigerian photographer, Jonathan Adagogo Green, funded through a Getty Collaborative Research Grant, will lead to a jointly authored book on the subject.   Recently, she co-curated an exhibition, and co-authored a catalogue, of contemporary African art with the Tang Museum Director, John Weber titled Environment and Object in Recent African Art at Tang from February-July, 2011, the Anderson Gallery at Virginia Commonwealth University (September-December, 2011) and the Middlebury College Art Museum (January-April, 2012).

Curating African Art in a Global Context: 
Lecture by Simon Njami

3pm, 19 May 2012

CCA Lagos in collaboration with Goethe Institute, Lagos invites you to the special guest lecture by internationally renowned curator Simon Njami as part of the 2nd International Art Programme, History/Matter from 1st – 26th May 2012

Introduction: Marc-Andre Schmachtel, Director Goethe Institute of Lagos

Curating African Art in a Global Context
Global context means both in and outside of Africa. How do we deal with the question of audience and transmission? How do we build endogenous tools that would correspond to local realities and politics? How do we create references in and out of Africa and do we present ourselves at home and abroad? These are some of issues that Paris based Cameroonian Curator Simon Njami will be discussing.

Simon Njami is an independent curator, lecturer, art critic, novelist, and essayist. He is also a consultant in visual arts for the Association Française d’Action Artistique and co-founder and editor-in-chief of the cultural magazine “Revue Noire”, as well as the cultural adviser of the Sindika Dokolo Collection. His publications include essays in the catalogue for the Sydney Biennale and other international exhibition catalogues. Njami was the artistic director of the Bamako Photography Biennale from 2001 to 2007, and was the co-curator, with Fernando Alvim, of the first African Pavilion at the 52nd Venice Biennale in 2007. He has curated several exhibitions of African art and photography, including Africa Remix and the first African Art Fair, held in Johannesburg in 2008.

Simon Njami’s lecture has been initiated and generously supported by the Goethe Institute of Lagos as part of their 50th Anniversary programme.

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