Taste of a Stone, 2016

© Otobong Nkanga. Taste of a Stone - Iko 2016. Installation view, Nottingham Contemporary. Photo: Stuart Whipps

Taste of a Stone, 2016

Otobong Nkanga

Taste of a Stone unfolds like a man-made landscape, a custom made museological indoor garden. An oasis of white pebbles stretches out into the room. Large locally sourced boulders and images printed on flat limestone tiles are dotted around the garden. These limestone slabs present details of surfaces that have been transformed by insects, plants or humans. Cavities and cracks appear as metaphors for the mutual transformation that an encounter provokes. A freestanding tapestry depicts a botanical drawing and air plants creep between the pebbles and boulders. The air plants, thriving through the intake of water and air through their leaves, allude to ideas of displacement: when setting up roots is impossible, adaptability is critical for survival. Together all elements form a landscape of contemplation inviting eyes and minds to linger and meditate on the interconnections between man and stone.

Taste of a Stone has been shown in different variations each time playing into the specifics of the exhibition space and its surroundings. The installation was exhibited for the first time in the Kunsthal Charlottenburg, Copenhagen (2010). Inspired by this work, Nkanga made new versions for the biennale of Sharjah (2013) and Stedelijk Museum Schiedam (2015). In Nottingham Contemporary (2016) she developed Taste of a Stone as a space for encounters - habited by local storytellers, musicians and dancers as well as visitors. In STUK (2018), the installation engages in a dialogue with the works of Ilana Halperin and Julian Charrière.

With courtesy of the artist and Lumen Travo Gallery

Otobong Nkanga (NG)
° 1974

Otobong Nkangais a visual artist and performer born in Kano, Nigeria. In her work, objects and landscapes are inhabited by memory and emotion. Plants, stones, dust, glimmer, archival material are recurring elements in her complex installations. Otobong Nkanga studied at Obafemi Awolowo University in Ile-Ife, Nigeria and at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, Paris. She has exhibited widely and has participated in biennials such as Sharjah (2013), São Paulo (2014), Dakar (2016) and Documenta (2017). Recent shows include: I Am A Native Foreigner at the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2017) and Manipulate the World at the Moderna Museet in Stockholm (2017). In 2018, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago will present the first US survey of her work. Otobong Nkanga was recently awarded the 2015 Yanghyun Prize and the 2017 Belgian Art Prize. She is represented by Lumen Travo Gallery, Amsterdam and In Situ Fabienne Leclerc Gallery, Paris. She currently lives and works in Paris and Antwerp.

13 February - 1 March

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