By: Liliana Nelson Angulo – Translation By: Ilana Spath -– Photo: Andrea Eslava
Africa is represented in BIACI with the work of Emeka Ogboh
As soon as he stepped in Cartagena de Indias, the Nigerian artist, asked directions to get to San Basilio de Palenque, the first freed town in America. Palenque was named an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO since its habitants still preserve the traditions and customs of their African ancestors. Ogboh is interested in visiting the town to hear and record the “sound” of his people with the intention, of perhaps, producing a piece about Palenque.
The artist is exhibiting his work of art Trancemission, in the First International Biennial of Contemporary Art, Cartagena de Indias. Trancemission is an audio installation that explores memory, space, and time through Ogboh’s own travels. The piece is based in two port cities where the artist has lived: Lagos and Yokohama.
For the Biennial, Trancemission was installed on a well as an electroacoustic composition in the Palacio de la Inquisición. Visitors will be able to listen to the sounds of these two cities.
Ogboh says Cartagena is similar to Lagos and Yokohama since it is also surrounded by water; all three are port cities situated in different continents.
The artist says he prefers to display his piece in open spaces because he does not want to “condensate” the sounds of a big city in a closed environment, but rather let the sound interact with the city.
“I work and live in Lagos. I am completely connected to the city. There is no way Lagos cannot be represented in my work. As an artists, it is normal, that your place of residence becomes a part of your work. However, I will love to stay a long period of time in Cartagena,” says Emeka Ogboh, who affirms he is already seduced with the city’s own sound, even though he sometimes does not understand what people say in the streets.