COLLECTIVE PHOTOGRAPHY EXHIBITION AT MoMA
MoMA’s collective exhibition New Photography 2023: Kelani Abass, Akinbode Akinbiyi, Yagazie Emezi, Amanda Iheme, Abraham Oghobase, Karl Ohiri, Logo Oluwamuyiwa explores the photographic work of seven artists, all at various stages in their careers.
The participating artists are united by their critical use of photographic forms and their ties to the artistic scene in Lagos (Èkó), Nigeria. Each artist explored at their own way the spatial, social and historical undercurrent of the city.
This is the latest edition of MoMA’s celebrated New Photography series and will mark its return as a gallery presentation after five years. New Photography 2023 marks the first time any of these photographers will present their work at MoMA and is the first group exhibition in MoMA’s history to engage the work of living West African photographers.
Since the program began in 1985, New Photography has introduced MoMA audiences to work by more than 150 artists from around the world. Following the cues of the featured artists, the show takes Lagos—the largest city in Nigeria and one of the most populous cities on the African continent—as its starting point. The seven international artists featured in the exhibition apply pressure to the idea of “photograph as document” by interrogating varying forms of visual representation.
Many of the artists take scenes of everyday life in Lagos as their subject, rendering new visual expressions of the city through formal experimentation and poetic compositions, or by chronicling personal accounts at the heart of political action. Others engage archival photographs to reveal the psychological traumas and possibilities embedded in physical structures, spatial sites, and historical figures.
“In a world where global systems of relation are a given, photographic images occupy a crucial position. No longer is the photograph solely a means of recording our surroundings, it has become a central prism through which lived experience is made and shared,” says curator Oluremi C. Onabanjo. “New Photography 2023 unites the work of seven artists who plumb the depths of the photographic medium, and mine its spatial, social, and historical undercurrents in order to make space for more nuanced forms of perception and encounter”.
Kelani Abass (b. 1979) lives and works in Lagos.
Akinbode Akinbiyi (b. 1946) lives and works in Berlin.
Yagazie Emezi (b. 1989) lives and works in Lagos.
Amanda Iheme (b. 1992) lives and works in Lagos.
Abraham Oghobase (b. 1979) lives and works in Toronto.
Karl Ohiri (b. 1983) lives and works in London.
Logo Oluwamuyiwa (b. 1990) lives and works in Lagos.