Art Twenty One captivates art enthusiasts with ‘Another Congo’
It was a thrilling experience at the Eko Hotel and Suites in Lagos as Art Twenty One showcased the unique exhibition of beautiful and captivating works of photography tagged Another Congo.
It was the gathering of the expatriates’ communities, the lovers of art and photography who thronged the venue of the exhibition at Eko Hotel to savour the beautiful pictorial illustration of lives of average Congolese by Alex Majoli and his colleague Paolo Pellegrin.
The works were as a result of an artistic commission documenting contemporary life in the Congo. The acclaimed photojournalists formed an intimate portrait of Congolese culture through an immersive photographic installation.
Another Congo was launched during Paris Photo in France in November 2014 and travelled to the Rencontres d’Arles Photography Festival in Arles, France in July 2015 and this was its first exhibition on the African continent with Art Twenty One and the support of Access Bank and Eko Hotel and Suite.
Speaking on the exhibition and the photographs, Alex Majoli explained that “the exhibition is a body of work my colleague Paolo Pellegrin and I have worked for almost a year and half in Republic of Congo, that is Brazzaville, we went there freely not necessarily to talk about the country, is like a sketch, we were there working, encountering people, taking the photograph of their daily lives and altogether it became a body of work, we interviewed people in a different kind of way, you can go though the pictures and may not understand what is going on sometimes.”
On how long it took him to go round and the things he was looking for in capturing the images, Majoli said, “ I was not looking at anything in particular, I was trying to go round the country and when anything captures my attention, I will start work on that, for example, I was moving round and see this boy with Obama picture boldly on his Belt at the back, I found it really beautiful and interesting, so I photographed it, it was a hologram with double faces , even this guy (one of the photographs ) who was our fixer, he was on a bar relaxing and the picture was very nice, and coherent in a way, so I photographed it. “
I tried to capture a little of their culture, from weeding, political gathering, hunters going to the bush and trying to haunt antelopes, funerals, fishermen, I tried to capture all that.
He said the experience of working in Congo, taking pictures was great, adding that it was really a welcoming experience and nice country and I love to be there.
Art Twenty One is a 600 sqm space and Platform dedicated to contemporary artists working in the fields of visual arts, photography and multimedia, located at Eko Hotel and Suites in Lagos.
Art Twenty One is intended to contribute to and solidify the growing art scene in Lagos as well as position the city as a major force in the international art world. The gallery, an unprecedented and unique set up in Lagos, the space is designed to make art accessible to a large and growing audience who will be able to engage with a rich and diverse range of contemporary art, cultural practice and educational art programme.
Promoted by Cherry Tree Arts initiates which support and promotes contemporary artists working in the fields of visual arts, photography and multimedia. Through artist commissions, original publications and exhibitions, cherry Tree arts champions independent artistic production and dissemination in association with artistic and cultural institutions.
Majoli joined the f45 studio in Ravanna, Italy at the age of 5 working with Daniele Casadio. Since 2001, Majoli has been a full member of Magnum Photos.
He has documented diverse subjects including the closure of an insane asylum in Greece, the Taliban in Afghanistan and Iraq, Favelas in South America and long term project about port cities around the world.
Paolo Pellegrin is an award winning photojournalist who has covered international conflicts and event throughout his distinguished carrier. Pellegrini has worked in countries like Italy, Bosnia, Romania, Uganda, Zimbabawe, Kenya, Cambodia, Albania, Kosovo, USA and other countries.