10 November - 5 February
Show Me The World Mister is a solo exhibition comprising two new films by London-based artist Ayo Akingbade. Shot on location in Nigeria, The Fist and Faluyi are Akingbade’s most ambitious productions to date, building upon her continued interest in history, place-making, legacy and power.
Shot on 35mm film, The Fist is an intimate portrait of a modernist style factory – the first Guinness brewery built outside of Ireland and the UK, located in Nigeria, 12 miles from the centre of Lagos on the Ikeja Industrial Estate. Completed in 1962, in the wake of Nigeria’s independence from Britain, the factory is a site where interwoven histories of industrialisation and labour are brought into focus. Observing the comings and goings of workers, and the factory’s assembly and packing lines, Akingbade perceptively highlights the deep-rooted politics embedded in the beverage’s production.
At the opposite end of the gallery, the artist’s second film, Faluyi, follows protagonist Ife as she embarks on a meditative journey tracing familial legacy and mysticism within ancestral land. Shot on 16mm film in the Idanre Hills – a UNESCO World Heritage site in Ondo State, the birthplace of Akingbade’s parents – the film is an introspective contemplation of the artist’s own personal relationship with Nigeria. Panoramic views of bouldering hills surrounded by thick groves form the backdrop to a sensitive tale of loss and longing, turned hope and celebration.
Both films are situated within a wider installation formed by a central axis of aluminium, steel and polycarbonate. Operating within an atmosphere of reduced daylight, the original architecture of the gallery – a former veneer factory and brewery – is still perceptible, albeit through a tinted film that evokes the dust of the harmattan season in West Africa. The presentation shuns total darkness to render visible factory-made infrastructures and recall the fading street lights of Faluyi.
The Fist: 24 minutes / Faluyi: 14 minutes
The films screen consecutively and loop every 45 minutes
First screening: 12pm; last screening: 5.15pm
Ayo Akingbade lives and works in London. Selected exhibitions include: Duette, Towner Gallery, Eastbourne; Jitterbug, Museum of the Home, London (both 2022); Domestic Drama, Halle Fuer Kunst Steiermark, Graz; A Glittering City: Ayo Akingbade with Duchamp & Sons, Whitechapel Gallery; An Infinity of Traces, Lisson Gallery, London (all 2021); Songs From A Forgotten Past, Instituto Tomie Ohtake, Sao Pāulo (2020); Towner International Biennial, Towner Eastbourne; No News Today, Institute of Contemporary Arts, London (all 2019); and Urban Rhapsodies, Film Society of Lincoln Center, New York (2017). Her films have been shown at Cannes Film Festival, Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival, MoMA Doc Fortnight and International Short Film Festival Oberhausen among others. Akingbade was a finalist in Visual Art for Arts Foundation Futures Award and is a recipient of the Kleinwort Hambros Emerging Artist Prize, Brewers Award and Loewe Foundation X Studio Voltaire Award.
Show Me The World Mister is co-produced by Chisenhale Gallery, London, and Spike Island, Bristol, and commissioned by Chisenhale Gallery; Spike Island; the Whitworth, The University of Manchester; BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead; and John Hansard Gallery, Southampton.
Following its Chisenhale Gallery premiere, the work will be exhibited at partner venues through 2023-24.
The commission and its acquisition by the Whitworth, The University of Manchester collection, are made possible with Art Fund support. With additional support from the Chisenhale Gallery Commissions Fund and WEVAA (West of England Visual Arts Alliance).
Corporate Headline Supporter: Kleinwort Hambros.
Headline Supporters: Shane Akeroyd and the Rennie Collection.
With additional support from the Ayo Akingbade Supporters’ Circle.
Ayo Akingbade’s first artist publication will be developed alongside her Chisenhale Gallery exhibition, co-published with Book Works, launching in Summer 2023.
64 Chisenhale Road, London E3 5QZ
Event: Ayo Akingbade in conversation with Noo Saro-Wiwa
Thursday 2 February, 7:00pm
Ayo Akingbade is joined by travel writer and author Noo Saro-Wiwa to discuss Akingbade’s new commission.
Noo Saro-Wiwa is a British-Nigerian author and journalist. Her first book, Looking for Transwonderland: Travels in Nigeria, was named Sunday Times Travel Book of the Year in 2013 and shortlisted for the Authors’ Club Dolman Travel Book Award. She has contributed book reviews, travel and opinion articles for several publications including the Guardian, the Financial Times, and the Times Literary Supplement. Her second book, Black Ghosts, explores the African community in China and will be published next year.
This event will take place at the gallery and online via Zoom.
We are committed to ensuring our events are accessible for all. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your access needs. We will endeavour to meet all requests where possible. Please be advised that requests should be made two weeks in advance of the event.
The gallery is 15 minutes walk from Mile End station and 19 from Bethnal Green station.
Buses: The 277 and 425 stop on Grove Road, the 8 stops on Roman Road, all at short distance.
Please contact Transport for London for detailed travel advice tfl.gov.uk