The Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos is pleased to present Table of Paradox, a debut solo exhibition by Peter Okotor. Comprising three distinct parts, this new body of work takes an introspective look at the history of Nigeria since the attainment of self- rule, and metaphorically unravels how her historic past, embodied by hopefulness and freedom from dependent rule, expresses itself on the modern- day.
Peter Okotor’s artistic production process adopts juxtaposition of archival materials, sound, and digital technology to highlight personal stories and how they contribute to the practice of memory and historical recall. He draws inspiration from his social background and upbringing, coupled with the shared human experiences of contemporary Nigerian society today. His past project- Let’s Turn Time On The Table- which was presented at the 2019 Access Bank Art X Prize section of the fair, involved using the Vinyl of High life music in Nigeria between 1960- 1980, a map of the Gold Coast of Africa and a Quick Response Code (QR Code), to evoke people’s thoughts on history and social values.
Table of Paradox however interrogates how events in the Nigerian past which were certainly poignant resonate with contemporary social and political contexts. Central to this exhibition is installation of repurposed Record players which hold reconstructed album covers and original vinyl of songs whose lyrics are of everyday life struggles. These mainstream songs which are embodiments of political messaging at the wake of independence are juxtaposed with hope- filled speeches that set Nigerians alight with joy and celebrations of the startling event heralding self-governance. Registered on each cover is a portrait of the musician, the album title, the record label, the year it came out, the photographer, the designer, and the country where it was released; a collaboration of all these elements anthologized within a historic context,
To foster audience participation, Peter employed digital technology by fusing a Quick Response (QR) code encrypted with the link of the song on the vinyl, when scanned with a mobile device enabled with a QR scanner, it directs people to where the songs can be listened to or downloaded.