'Otobong Nkanga: Craving for Southern Light' at IVAM, València, Spain
29 August 2023
'Otobong Nkanga: Craving for Southern Light' (13 July 2023 – 7 January 2024) marks Nkanga's first solo exhibition in Spain and brings together a significant selection of the artist's work from the last two decades, including drawings, textiles, poems, sculptures, objects and performances, and a site-specific installation for IVAM. By exploring the notion of earth as a place of non-belonging, Nkanga provides an alternative significance to social ideas of identity, showcasing the inherent complexities of natural resources and their potential values in order to provoke narratives or histories related to earth.
In the first room, several series of drawings and a large tapestry define a poetic and political iconography often used by the artist, showcasing her strength of evoking fiction through images which elicit memories of bodies, spaces and interconnected movements. Her figures put the action centre stage, evoking memories which speak of work, belonging and property: domestic and family scenes, but also conflicts. Diagrammatic drawings have been arranged in a series and incorporate her colour palette, acting as an origin for new scenes.
The central room is home to a new work realized in situ; the result of trips, research and the relationships that the artist has established in the city and in the museum. An unsettled landscape, dark, an emotional space between darkness and light, made up of precarious, fragile shapes. The clay which has been shaped into abstract forms reminiscent of natural worlds evokes the fragility of ecological, economic and political realities. Opposite this landscape, different sculptures relate to the regeneration and repairing of various ecosystems. In the final room, a series of tapestries, a volcanic-rock f loor and the installation Solid Maneuvers (2015), which is a poetized translation of an inverted hill, an excavated topography containing minerals and salt. The sculpture references the abandoned excavation, which leaves the landscape, and our relationship with it, wounded.
Find further information via IVAM.