DAK’ART 2014

11ème Biennale de l’Art Africain Contemporain 09/05>08/06

Andrew Esiebo


Who We Are: photographies, 120 x 80 cm, 2010, courtesy of the artist.
God is Alive: photography, 30 x 20 inches, courtesy of the artist.

Andrew Esiebo observes that attention is often too focused on the sexual practices of homosexuality and not on issues of love, desires, aspirations, compassion, or faith. He responds by photographing men in the context of their daily lives to reflect on their private identities in everyday spaces. Through this body of work, Who We Are, Esiebo suggests that homosexual and heterosexual individuals and couples share many of the same challenges. He questions stereotyped approaches to hereto-normativity and addresses the general lack of acceptance when it comes to issues of cultural diversity and sexual complexities. Esiebo’s images dually act as intimate stories of individuals and as political commentary on phobias. The focus on a single person at a time humanizes the struggle and complicates preconceived notions of what it means to be a marginalized human being. Because the individuals are in private spaces, they are expected to be relaxed and comfortable. However, the aggressions and discomfort of the public sphere linger. Although Esiebo’s style is documentary in nature, the people of Who We Are acknowledge his presence. Each person looks straight at the camera, as if to confront the viewer directly.

Andrew Esiebo born in Lagos, Nigeria. He is started out in photography by chronicling the rapid development of urban Nigeria as well as the country’s rich culture and heritage. As his work began to gain international recognition, Andrew started to explore new creative territory, integrating multimedia practice with the investigation of themes such as sexuality, gender politics, football, popular culture migration, religion and spirituality. He is the winner of the 2011 Musee du Quai Branly Artistic creation prize. His work has been exhibited at the Biennale Cuvee, Linz, Austria Photo Quai biennials in Paris France, Sao Paulo biennials in Brazil, the Guangzhou Triennial in Beijing-China, the Chobi Mela V Photo Festival in Bangladesh, Noorderlitch Photo Festival in Netherlands, African Photography Encounters in Mali and the Lagos Photo Festival among others. Andrew has completed a number of artistic residencies including a five-month stay in Paris under Cultures France’s Visa Pour Creation, a three-month residency at the Gasworks in London as part of the Africa Beyond programme and a three-month residency at the Gyeonggi Creation Center in South Korea from December 2011.

View online : www.andrewesiebo.com