Castello di Rivoli 2023
Italian translation of the exhibition catalogue and editing of its French version by Scriptum
Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea presents the solo exhibition devoted to Otobong Nkanga (Kano, Nigeria, 1974), among the most important international contemporary artists of African origin who tackles urgent issues related to the ecological crisis and the environment, the exploitation of resources and sustainability, from a point of view that takes into account the history of colonialism with the consequent inequalities and repercussions on the social fabric.
Specially conceived for the galleries on the third floor of the Castello, the exhibition consists in a large site-specific project. Drawing an unprecedented landscape, the installation includes works-carpets whose irregular shape is inspired by the shape of minerals, such as quartz and malachite, whose healing properties have been known since ancient times. The carpets extend into the space through very long hand-woven cords which in turn connect multiple concave sculptural objects that suggest manipulation by visitors. Made of wood, glass and terracotta, they host additional organic materials or convey sounds, endowing the work a performative and sensually relational component. Therefore, the artist develops at floor level her exhibition that winds through five large galleries of the third floor of the Castello, intentionally rejecting the verticality of the museum walls to embrace the horizontality, associated with the notion of geography and travel understood as transit and connection between distant points. The installation brings into dialogue the different cultural traditions that are intertwined in the biography of the artist: born in Nigeria and raised in France, currently living in Antwerp.