Dates: February 10 – April 2, 2016
Location: Beirut Art Center

Landversation Beirut is a project by Otobong Nkanga that will be exhibited at Beirut Art Center for 2 months.
Originally presented in 31st Sao Paulo Biennal, Brazil (Landversation 2014), the project sets out to explore and compare the complex relationship between the human subject and land in Lebanon. Landversation Beirut deals with the contradictory ways in which we inhabit the earth and are dependent on it and the dichotomy of how those two ways of dealing with it two connect. By availing ourselves of and profiting from this planet’s abundant fertility we haphazardly contribute to its exhaustion, thereby creating huge imbalances that undermine its ability to continue. In response to this destruction we constantly look for palliatives, measures to repair and negate the very damage we have forced upon it. This exhibition seeks to provide a space to sit for a moment and reflect, a space to consider the various possibilities surrounding this ever-complex relationship and perhaps ,most important of all, a space for discourse.

Otobong Nkanga was born in 1974, Kano, Nigeria
. She lives and works in Antwerp, Belgium. A visual artist and performer, Nkanga began her art studies at the Obafemi Awolowo University in Ile-Ife, Nigeria and continued at the École Superieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris, France. She was at the residency program at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
In 2008, she obtained her Masters in the Performing Arts at Dasarts, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Otobong Nkanga’s drawings, installations, photographs and sculptures variously examine ideas around land and the value connected to natural resources.
In the work of 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. Nkanga negotiates the completion of the cycle of art between the aesthetic realm of display and a strategy of de-sublimation that repeatedly pushes the status of the artwork into contingency. In many of her works Nkanga reflects metonymically on the use and cultural value connected to natural resources, exploring how meaning and function are relative within cultures, and revealing different roles and histories for the same products, particularly within the context of the artists autobiography and memories.
June 2013 to June 2014, Otobong Nkanga was a guest of the DAAD Berliner Künstlerprogramm Artists-in-Berlin Program.