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Lagos sounds find a home in Dakar

19 May 2014, 10:37Obidike Okafor

Dakar - Sounds of Lagos are being heard at the Dakar art Biennale courtesy of the installations of Emeka Ogboh sound recording inspired by the soundscapes of Lagos.

Ogboh understands the character of a city through its sounds, and in the sound installation titled LOSlantic, he looks at a futuristic city, the Eko Atlantic, an ultramodern city for the wealthy, presently being constructed on the Atlantic Ocean, through a Lagos State government and a private real estate company partnership.

The wooden paneled speakers conjure an image of frightened sandcastles overwhelmed by the shape of futuristic buildings. The sounds used for the installation were recorded from cities that Lagos look up to, in its quest to reach a utopian vision of hyper modernity.

These cities from around the world inspire the Eko Atlantic to be planned and clean, thereby sharply contrasting with the rest of Lagos.

Everything about the installation means something including the ropes that separate the viewer from the speakers. The ropes are both a physical barrier and a figurative one that represents the psychological divide between the rich and the hopes of the poor, who are left to their imagination.

The multimedia artist deals primarily with sound and video to explore the history and auditory infrastructures of cities, with special emphasis on Lagos.

He is a co-founder of Nigeria’s first video art collective, called the  Video Art Network Lagos, and was part of the African delegates to the Media Lab at the 16th International Symposium on Electronic Art in Dortmund, Germany in 2010.

Most of Ogboh’s works have been recordings of Lagos, which he has compiled in a project called the Lagos soundscapes project.

The project has been listened to in galleries and museums in the United States, Sweden Switzerland and Germany.

The Dakar Art Biennale ends June 8.


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