Art is my Revenge.
From the moment I made the decision to return to Lagos, and base all my professional activities there, I’ve made up my mind to “work in” Lagos and not “work from” Lagos. So whether my artistes are given their visas or not, we will continue to shine within our own capacity and our own terms. Europe can then continue with her hypocrisy, that is all over tainted with diabolical mimicry of an impotent half legged giant, whose phallus has been good for nothing more than a piss. Still we shine.
My works in the last three years has developed a radical shift, away from the repetitive modes of production and touring that propped my early days of creating, this western model of artistic production has created a sort of super market/industry that has created its own proper technology, which means, regardless of the artistic individuality and singular voice, this capitalist model of production and touring have created a sort of stagnation and rehash of concepts and ideas, that can be well described as the ironic cyclical dialogue between the speak nots and the hear nots. A tired system which has created its proper elite based on fraternity and cocktails.
Then comes the growing wave of Africa in vogue, yes, that same Africa, the land of raw materials and a people always sitting flat on their asses, waiting to be dead, until a savior and a saving policy comes from the West, a policy which unlocks some more millions of euros to move around, to entice, to buy out, to dominate, to influence and to derail ones more. France has been the most foresighted, for two decades the soft power has created its own African darlings and supermarket, all to herself, until the French African cultural policy - Afrique en création became broke, then Germany; Europe’s new super power woke up in 2012 with the TURN FUND. Don’t get me wrong they all mean well and have in fact done great good to southern creatives with the most irresponsible government ever, who has stupidly left her own creatives and creations in the hands of another.
The irony of this paternalist relation between Africa and Europe, that has ceased to change focus since the time of Berlin conference, is that Europe herself is confused, Europe is in an existential and humanitarian crises, a crises that is much as a result of her own proper doings, because when we send forth light unto a mirror, we are bound to get a bounce back, the echoes of the noise Europe made in colonial africa is what she’s now receiving through an ugly immigration outburst. So on one hand there’s the hypocrisy of a cultural relationship, economic relationship, diplomatic relationship, which in recent times means, we need your resources but not your people, and it is so enforced through her number one gateway, known as the consulate. But a desperate people will always create their own proper gateway through their own creative will, a will to survive and seek favorable conditions, it is in our nature to do so, in fact it was this same instinct that moved Europe to want to go across the the sea to steal from an unsuspecting people, not so long ago.
So today, we the artistes and African cultural producers are tired of an Europe that at once wants us but don’t want to give us visas, or how does one explain a situation whereby 3 artistes applies for visas, with the same documents, sponsored by the same host and going for the same event, two were offered a visa out of three, in fact the one that was denied is the one with the most schenghen visa in the past and has always returned in time. Listen to their retarded reason “We are unable to determine the fact that you’ll return, because you are not well rooted in Nigeria, you are an married loser, you don’t have under age children or a dying mother you are taking care of, and frankly your bank account shows that you are fucking broke.” Yes, that an artiste is broke and unmarried is something so unimaginable, however I don’t know many artistes in Europe that are married and rich. They even doubted that a 39 years old Nigerian man isn’t rooted enough.
Last night we did the show like that, I mean we did a show, which was eventually redesigned to talk extensively on this schizophrenic relationship that Germany is beginning to have with African cultural producers. With or without your visas, your euros or your market, still we go dey rise. #ArtIsMyRevenge.
Ire o. Q.