Residency programme Lagos/ Berlin 2019

In order to provide artists and curators from Lagos and Berlin with insights into the art world of the other country and to work there, the Goethe-Institut Nigeria in cooperation with the Department for Art and Culture Berlin-Mitte, Galerie Wedding – Space for Contemporary Art, ZK/U – Center for Art and Urbanism, the art space SAVVY Contemporary Berlin and the Arthouse Foundation Lagos, the residency program for young artists and curators from Berlin and Lagos. This year's scholarship holders 2019 include the Nigerian artist Antoinette Yetunde Oni, as well as the Berlin-based artists Dane Komljen and Katrin Winkler. 

Room for improvisation, for formulating and expressing global change in urban hubs. The exhibition »New Commons – Lagos/Berlin« serves as a moment in time and space dedicated to the exchange between the two cities. It focuses on alternate forms of interaction between autonomous networks and their use of urban architecture as stages. Urban sites that are repurposed and function as hubs for the diaspora and other subcultures in both Lagos and Berlin. 

Antoinette Yetunde Onion residency in Berlin: Fellowship & Future Landscapes in the Dong Xuan Center, Berlin, 2019 

"The ‘Extinction Rebellion’ ongoing in Berlin is almost like a new Diaspora", says Nigerian-British artist and architect Yetunde Oni, who has observed how the activist group uses the urban space and buildings of Berlin for staging their points and demonstrations. Her artistic purpose is to examine the adaptive nature of dispersed communities and typologies of architecture that accommodate places of ‘other’ through photography, collage and mapping. Currently, Dong Xuan Center in Berlin Lichtenberg is a transformative cultural center and commercial market ground demonstrating Michel Foucault’s description of Heterotopia; a place of ‘other’, with layers of history and meaning that have led to its existence.  New Commons: Fellowship & Future Landscapes explores the porous nature of diaspora and in the format of collage speculate the future of their spaces - such as Dong Xuan Center - and the accumulating cultural value the current human activity is adding to this kind of architecture. 

Yetunde Oni was born in 1994 in London before moving to Lagos, Nigeria at age nine. Her work narrates fictitious futuristic landscapes and architectural interventions that explore solutions to environmental concerns such as resource degradation and desertification in the Sahel Region. Her exploration of West African topography began during her time as an NGO representative at the the United Nations where she advocated for rural women’s land rights in Ghana and Nigeria. In addition to her work as an artist and advocate, she currently works as a designer for a Lagos-based architecture firm where she collaborates with local artisans. Yetunde holds a BA (honours) in Architecture from the Manchester School of Architecture.

Dane Komljenon residency in Lagos: The civil repurposing of a trade fair building in Lagos. A film, sound, and photography installation The Seven Elements, 2019 

The ‘Trade Fair Complex’ in Lagos was built from 1973 to 1977 by Energoprojekt, a Yugoslavian construction company that undertook major endeavors in many countries that formed the Non-Aligned Movement. ‘TFC’ was used as a place of trade for a decade, before being emptied out and remaining in the ongoing process of privatization. Coming from the people living in its vicinity, the outskirts of the city, a market sprung up around two of the five buildings new elements have been added on the original structures. The installation »The Seven Elements« by the bosnian Berlin-based artist Dane Komljen, who just returned from his Lagos residency, examines this site as a utopian project conceived in one particular european setting and carried out a westafrican one where it failed to take root, but nevertheless got repurposed and reshaped. It is a story of how a utopia perseveres through historical time. In the installation he places archival photos and text, present day sound recordings and footage of objects, stones, plants, animals and humans that populate the former Fair building in Lagos around an incomplete drawing of its floor plan. A portrait of the ‘Trade Fair Complex’ as a point of convergence of order and chaos, imagined and formed, vertical and horizontal, macro and micro community. 

Dane Komljen was born in 1986 in Banja Luka, SFR Yugoslavia, and is based in Berlin. He studied at the Faculty of Dramatic Arts in Belgrade, Le Fresnoy in Tourcoing and the Universität der Künste in Berlin. His short films have been shown and awarded at the Locarno Film Festival, IFF Rotterdam, Festival de Cannes, FID Marseille, Toronto IFF, New York FF and Sarajevo FF. All the Cities of the North, his first feature, premiered in 2016 at Locarno and was subsequently shown at over 60 festivals and venues worldwide, received a theatrical release in the USA and has been distributed online by MUBI and Grasshopper Film. Phantasiesätze, his most recent short, won tje Mantarraya Casa Wabi award at Locarno in 2017 before being shown at TIFF, NYFF, FIC Valdivia, FICUNAM, Jeonju IFF and FRONT Triennial among others. He is currently developing two new feature-length projects: A Treatise on Limnology and Desire Lines. The Institute of Contemporary Arts in London organized a complete retrospective of his work at the end of 2018. Earlier this year, he was comissioned by Volksbühne to put up the audiovisual performance As quickly as the leaves in the garden have faded.

Katrin Winkleron residency in Lagos: Historical ways of redistributing knowledge and entanglement of rebelling women in Lagos pass it on and she will know, 2019 

Plant materials are one of the oldest media used by humans for writing. Historical texts suggest that leaves of palms had been used for centuries for this purpose. In the exhibition New Commons – Lagos/Berlin, Winkler presents a series of engaging notes printed on mages of palm leaf shadows. The prints are placed astray in the exhibition and on a central wall saying: "by giving you this leaf I invite you to come to our assembly to protest"; "Listen what happens here is not for the better – but a means to make our lives harder." Meanwhile in Lagos as this exhibition is happening, the german artist and filmmaker Katrin Winkler, based in Berlin, researches historical means of communication (palm leaves) related to e.g. The ‘Abeokuta Women’s Revolt’, which was a resistance movement led by market women, who formed the ‘Abeokuta Women’s Union’ (AWU) in the late 1940s fighting against the imposition of unfair taxation by the British colonial government.

Katrin Winkler (*1983) is an artist and filmmaker based in Berlin. She works in the fields of expanded cinema, critical research, photography and video. How history is in-/visible and entangled with the contemporary moment is a reocurring theme in her artistic practice. She holds a BFA in Photography from the University of Applied Sciences, Munich. She was a student assistant at the Katutura Community Art Center, Windhoek, Namibia and the City Varsity, Cape Town, South Africa. She studied Media Arts/ Mass Media research and Art in Public Media Space with Günther Selichar and finsihed the Master Class Programme with Clemens von Wedemeyer at the Academy of Fine Arts, Leipzig. And she studied Photography&Media&Integrated Media (MFA) amongst others with Allan Sekula, Ashley Hunt, Michelle Dizon and Billy Woodberry in the MFA Programme at the California Institute of the Arts, Los Angeles. Her works have been shown internationally.