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Portrait of Yinka Shonibare CBE 2023

© Yinka Shonibare 2023. Photo courtesy of the artist and the Museum of West African Art, Edo. Photo by Tom Jamieson.

Congratulations to Yinka Shonibare CBE, who has been invited to present his work in Nigeria's national pavilion at the 60th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia, from April 20 to November 24, 2024. Shonibare will be featured in the group exhibition alongside Tunji Adeniyi-Jones, Ndidi Dike, Onyeka Igwe, Toyin Ojih Odutola, Abraham Oghobase, Precious Okoyomon, and Fatimah Tuggar.

The Edo State Governor, His Excellency Godwin Obaseki, is the commissioner of the Pavilion and has requested its organisation by the Museum of West African Art (MOWAA) in Benin City, Edo State to be realised on behalf of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and its Ministry of Culture and Information.

As commissioner, Governor Obaseki selected Nigerian-British curator Aindrea Emelife—who serves as the Contemporary and Modern Art curator at MOWAA—as curator of the exhibition. Emelife has selected artists to present works in response to the theme and title Nigeria Imaginary.

Aindrea Emelife said, “Nigeria Imaginary looks at the many Nigerias that live in our minds: the Nigeria that could be and is yet to be. The exhibition will explore different perspectives and constructed ideas, memories of and nostalgia for Nigeria, with a scope that is cross-generational and inter-geographic. The artists were selected for their unique visions of Nigeria, with a mixture of artists brought up in Nigeria and within the Diaspora curated to capture a sense of optimism imbued in inherited and collective cultural history. Articulated through many fields of reference and artistic disciplines, Nigeria Imaginary is a restless investigation of the present and a defiant imagining of what is yet to come.”

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