Art marries politics in ‘Two Brothers and One Lumbo’ at Kokopelli Gallery, Lekki, Lagos

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Gas Fee by Ice Nweke

A social and politically themed art exhibition titled ‘Two Brothers and One Lumbo’ that features the works of 10 Nigerian contemporary artists will take place at The Kokopelli Gallery, 1 Bunmi Olowude Street, Oniru, Lekki Phase One, Lagos. The exhibition will run from Friday, August 5 through to Sunday, August 7, 2022, with an opening reception on Friday from 4pm to 9pm. This will be followed by a conversation with Burns Effiom, Ola Dada, Tobi Ibiwoye and the artists on Saturday, August 6. They will discuss art, Blockchain technology and its potential to influence social structures.
‘Two Brothers and One Lumbo’ pays homage to Nigeria’s current political ecosystem where there are three major candidates, as opposed to the usual two opponents from the two major political parties that have dominated discourse in the recent past in the country. Thus, the exhibition seeks to answer the final questions: How Art and Technology can be used as effective tools of influencing social change in an environment such as Nigeria where technology and art are still mostly regarded as unimportant and the who are the Two Brothers and Lumbo?
‘Two Brothers and One Lumbo’ employs a satirical tone in defining the socio-political climate of Nigeria, as it concerns its citizens and the 2023 general elections. It seeks to further bridge the gap between traditional art display and the evolving technology of Non Fungible Tokens (NFTs), with hopes of fostering a dialogue between these two communities, with a view to finding a middle ground and outlining its influence on socio-political issues in relation to the audience.
This exhibition marries the display of art in a traditional gallery with the fast-evolving technology of QR Codes and its display and interaction via mobile technologies as different methods of expression. This union is the crux of the exhibition: therefore, upon acquisition of any of the exhibited Non Fungible Tokens (NFTs), the physical versions of the exhibits will be obtained alongside.
The selection of artworks challenge the stereotype of the Nigerian political narrative and they revolve around evocative subjects such as bribery, police brutality, vote buying and more while taking each visitor on a journey from where the country has been to a potential future.
The exhibition features 10 contemporary artists with different techniques and a miscellany of art forms – painting, sculpture, photography, and digital art. The artists include Olubankole Olabode, Abrifor Drexx Silas, Bidemi Tata, Hossein Quadri, Ibukun Williams, Ice Nweke, Osafuwenko Tunde-Oni, Alvin Ukpeh, Seyi Ogar and Iloabuchi Netochukwu.
The assemblage of works depicts a strong narration of Nigeria’s past and her current state and the potential future being envisioned, as seen in Quadri’s 3D exhibit ‘Crude Rule’ that highlights Nigeria’s crude oil journey and the surprising turn of events attributed to that peregrination and ‘Original Gangster’ by Abrifor Silas that gives detailed narration of the many facets of Nigeria’s social dilemma owing to the quality of leaders who have been entrusted with the commonwealth. It uses photography as a tool for critical assessment.
Also, Alvin Ukpeh’s piece ‘Dying Tender’ depicts the decline in the value of the currency, as it applies to basic commodities. His composition paints a picture of the existence of a flawed system with regard to the current Nigerian predicament. Oni’s piece ‘E go better’ takes on a social narrative through digital collage that contains pictures of past Nigerian attires, hairstyles and news reports that invites viewers to a simpler time in the Nigerian journey while hoping for a future where, against all odds, things will get better.

Up There by Seyi Ogar

Visitors to this exhibition will find themselves immersed in a unique experience that is not commonplace in an archetypal gallery setting. But more importantly, they will be invested in the captivating manner the exhibits are laid out.
Kokopelli Gallery is a modern and contemporary art gallery dedicated to showcasing ingenious artists who have mastered the art of storytelling. Established in 2021, the gallery presents a platform for creatives who engage with the intention of fostering the tradition of dialogue and storytelling. It’s a multi-roomed setting with a space dedicated for meditation. The Grotto is an immersive space that interprets literally a roomful of stories. Kokopelli Gallery has proven to be an experimental space with extemporaneous approach to the evolution of the art space where raconteurs and aesthetes converge for related engagements.

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