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Locutions: Fragments out of a Deluge

Locutions: Fragments out of a Deluge

Chukwudubem Ukaigwe

September 23 – November 11| 2023
Reception:  September 23 | 7-9pm
Artist Talk: September 24| 1-3 pm | Hosted at The Hampton Hub ( 1221 15th Ave)

Locutions: Fragments out of a Deluge is an interchanging system of video, ceramic, and sound installations that look to quotidian rituals as a scheme for examining notions of identity, community, place, class, and diaspora.

Ukaigwe traverses the landscape of media as generative, simultaneous, and multiple; the installations in this exhibition are conceived as embodiments and documents of dynamic social scenarios, often produced in response to his own lived experience, as well as collective experiences of home, migration, isolation, and dislocation.  Locutions is a collaborative effort, the artist worked closely with, and shares authorship with cross-continental communities.

Spread across the gallery space are large ceramic vessels emitting rhizomatic sonic documentations of transient happenings in multiple timelines, situations, and bearings, paying attention to the urban life in the city of Lagos, Nigeria. The anthropomorphic, dichromatic, and sundry shaped vessels alter and refract the sound waves passing through them, hence simulating a cacophonous sonic topography. 

Other ceramic work within the show gestures towards ceramics as a medium, and its economy across gender, ritual, labor/function, food, and phenomena: permutations of vessels and burlap are suspended with a pedestal of wooden and metal rods that connect them with other vessels at base. 

In the video installation Time Off, groups of African men meet and participate in a shared ritual of gathering – developed around a concentrated, devotional, energetic and ultimately aesthetic activity. Two separate events overlap, as the sounds of an intimate jazz jam session (recorded in 2019) play over video footage of young men swimming (filmed in 2023), a reference to ritual rebirth through immersion or ablution. Community and identity are paradoxically grounded by and symbolically contained in a fluid, multifaceted, and relational process. Ukaigwe seems to understand the open-ended social scenarios he sets up–and by extension the “containing” artwork is as well another form of gathering, an exploration of juxtaposition, interaction, and flow.

 Untitled (Moulding Identities), a video installation made up of 80 frames, involves a similar interplay between the production of contained individuals and a sort of propositional community, invented by the work through interplay between framing and energetic action. All of the videos; – half of which document daily rituals, and half of which document artistic processes–were solicited from acquaintances and artists across Canada.

Ukaigwe further extends the dynamic relational logic of the two works into the space they inhabit. Time Offs placement on the floor suggests a fountain or pool, and Untitled acts as a frenetically kinetic wall of light, sound, and action, both transforming the architecture of the exhibition.

Locutions: Fragments out of a Deluge is a big sea of sociological sediments for contemplating notions of being.

Chukwudubem Ukaigwe

Chukwudubem Ukaigwe (b. 1995, Lagos, Nigeria) is a Nigerian born artist,
curator, and writer [passing through] Winnipeg, Canada. Exercising material as an
experimental device for cross-examining plural themes, his interdisciplinary
practice is an inquiry into semiotic dissonance. Chukwudubem participates in the
creation of immersive audiovisual scapes for fecund contemplation, bringing to
center facets of everyday life to generate active conceptual trans-media
interconnections pertaining to global aesthetics.
Tapping into a diverse spectrum of influences – from jazz music, to poetry, to
African mythology and futurism – Ukaigwe approaches his art practice as a double
gesture. On one hand, his work is a way of annotating, augmenting, defacing,
transposing, and rewriting in the margins of a palimpsestic history. On the other
hand, his paintings, installations, and video works are an attempt to assemble and
compose a speculative sensorium that permits hearing in a different tempo; one
that collapses the subject-object divide and maps out both new and revised
sociographies. A compositional practice that is fabulated out of the choice to
meander in extant modes of being: fugitive, improvised, ongoing and otherwise.
His social practice is established on the foundations of splintered or shared
authorship, community input, fracturing time, and relativity. On obtaining a BFA
(Hons.) from the university of Manitoba in Canada, Chukwudubem has presented
exhibitions and effectuated artist residencies locally and intercontinentally.
Ukaigwe is a founding member of the curatorial force, Patterns collective.


Sources of reference provided by the artist:

WRITERS/POETS: Dionne Brand, Canisia Lubrin, Octavia Butler, bell hooks, Sylvia D. Hamilton, Christopher Okigbo, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Sylvia Wynter, Christinna Sharpe, Frantz Fanon, George Elliott Clarke, Chim Undi, Ben Okri, Toni Morrisson, Walter Rodney, Chinua Achebe, Tina M. Campt, Saidiya Hartman, Akwaeke Amezi……. Walter Benjamin, Franz Kafka, Jorge Luis Borges, Albert Camus, Solmaz Sharif.

ARTISTS: Lorna simpson, Terry Adkins, Kara Walker, Charles Gains, Martin Puryear, Augusta Savage, Sam Gillam, Theaster Gates, Wangechi Mutu, Jan Wade, Anique Jordan, Carrie Mae Weems, Jennifer Packer, Julie Merethu, Torkwase Dyson, Howardena Pindell, El Anatsui, Stan Douglas, Isaac Julian……

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