A new conceptual photography show curated by Nigerian artist Zina Saro-Wiwa, founder of the alt-Nollywood movement, is about to launch at Tiwani Contemporary, London.
The Pineapple Show, presented by Boys’ Quarters Project Space, the gallery founded by Saro-Wiwa, draws together a group of artists working out of Nigeria, the UK and the United States, who have produced artworks that “explore the semiotics of the pineapple fruit.”
The pineapple has long served as a metaphor to represent issues surrounding status.
In western and European visual representations of the fruit, the pineapple is often used as a symbol of power, wealth and exoticism – “often with a privilege and imperialist vision.”
The exhibition will expose and invent new narratives around the pineapple, exploring the fruit’s historic significance across a number of cultures, taking on issues of labour and luxury, power and powerlessness, vulnerability and violence, language, gender, hair, memory and otherness: all issues that have emerged from meditations on this fruit in the practices of the artists involved.
Artists included in the show are: Elizabeth Colomba (Martinique/USA), Ian Deleón (USA/Brazil/Cuba), Ayana Evans (USA), Jowhor Ile (Nigeria), Odili Donald Odita (USA/Nigeria), Perrin Oglafa (Nigeria), Temitayo Ogunbiyi (Nigeria), Zina Saro-Wiwa (Nigeria/USA/UK), Johnson Uwadinma (Nigeria) and Arlene Wandera (Kenya/UK).
Through media from painting to video, sound to photography, these artists variously consider the pineapple as a symbol of romantic love in Nigeria; an inspiration for African hairstyles; the dialogue between the black female body and the labour involved in pineapple production; and as an “emotional lodestar.”
The exhibition demonstrates Boys’ Quarters’ commitment to “examining the relationship between self and environment”.
Boys’ Quarters Project Space is situated in the old offices of the late writer, environmental activist and Nobel-nominee, Ken Saro-Wiwa, in Port Harcourt.
The Pineapple Show runs from 8 July – 13 August 2016