Friday, 9 September 2011

Emeka Udemba

Football, identity meet art 
BY TAJUDEEN SOWOLE 
Sunday, 24 July 2011 00:00
 WITH women football becoming popular across the globe in the last two decades, the creative industry is beginning to tap into popularity.
A shot by photographer, Uche James Iroha
This, Emeka Udemba, a Germany-based Nigerian artist, explained in art, photography and video installation show titled Beyond Football-Shifting Interest and Identity at Savvy Contemporary, Berlin, a month ago.
Currently holding at Goethe Institut, Lagos, the show features works of Adebimpe Adebambo, Andrew Esiebo, Yetunde Babaeko, Uchay Joel Chima, Nina Erfle, Uche James-Iroha, Ebele Okoye, Lerato Shadi, Alafuro Sikoki and Katrin Ströbel.
Largely expressed in photography, the works on display, irrespective of gender, show that each artist agrees on the growing interest of women in football as well as in other socio-economic activities.
On and off the football pitch, Iroha captures football enthusiasts in different forms, one of which promotes the Nigerian female fashion style.
The themes of the Prince Claus awardee also include the dearth of infrastructure in Nigerian cities and sympathy for the ladies or men at the goalposts despite the increasing interest of the game among city girls.
For South African photo and performance artist, Shadi, this show provides an opportunity to unveil one of the pictures taken at the last FIFA World Cup hosted by her country.
Some of her works depict the acceptance of the game by all, including grandmothers, as represented in images of old women in jerseys.
The Nigerian pictorial designer, Sikoki, brings on-the-pitch action of women footballers to the fore.
These images, interestingly, confirm that the feminine anatomy can never change, despite the masculine moves of female footballers.
Emeka Udemba
And when the artist argues that “making work is a dialogue, so is perception,” his presentation for this show clearly stresses that.
And perhaps, the sub-section of the show tagged The X-Perspective, which has the works produced in Ayeni-Babaeko-led photography workshop on display, adds to the argument that creatively, women are breaking the gender barrier aside from football.

AT the same venue, last month, Ayeni Babaeko gathered 12 female photography enthusiasts for a workshop, which had professionals such as Kelechi Amadi-Obi, Lolade Cameron Cole and Leke Adenuga as resource persons. If an answer to female’s complexity in a man’s space should be sought, Ayeni-Babaeko appears to have it. She explains that her works represents the typical feelings of women.  She says, “I photograph women the way I see them: strong, frightening, yet elegant.”
Ayeni-Babaeko is an independent advertising and modeling photographer whose works have featured in several group shows in Lagos.
However, the real feminine flavour of the show comes in Adebambo’s presentations of her fashion designs, both in photographs and live parade.
Joel Chima, whose video installation of processed images focuses on actions on the field of play, notes, “societal issues as they relate to human activities, rather than ethics, remain his focus.”

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