No Victor, No Vanquish: The World at the Crossroads
IWAYA COMMUNITY ART BIENNIAL – I C A B Lagos 2021
What art is to the regular few within the walls of White Box spaces might not appeal to the art-taste of the multitude of people living on the fringe in the metropolitan city of Lagos.
They cannot afford to leave their micro-comfort spaces to encounter art in spaces that unmasked them. In catering for this section of the public in the cosmopolitan city of Lagos, an annual gathering of contemporary visual artists around the world for artistic research and interventions was birthed in the Iwaya/Makoko community, a suburb of the city’s mainland. After five years of the yearly gathering of interdisciplinary artists, social researchers and artist/independent curators in Iwaya community for the Iwaya Community Art Festival (ICAF Lagos), it becomes a biennial – Iwaya Community Art Biennial (ICAB Lagos).
ICAB Lagos is pensive with thematic concern on how humanity fared in 2020 and how people are currently dealing with the ‘post’-COVID-19 new normal in the global cosmopolis. Just like the atmosphere in a typical civil war, the novel coronavirus broke out in 2020, albeit vaccines and other measures have been put in place, it might take a few more years for the world to reel itself of the rippling impacts of COVID-19 in all spheres of life. It is pertinent for artists in this time of pandemic and economic epidemic to be conscious of happenings around them, reflected through their personal confrontations and tensions in their artistic interventions.
Through reference, five local artists/collectives would be selected to participate in the ICAB Lagos Artist-in-Residence (AiR) programme, from 10th November to 18th December 2021. This will afford the artists to be on the move again and meet with people in a new space to experience and exchange memories of the past year. Selected artists will have the opportunity to integrate into the family life of the community and as well as develop their practices during the residency period. The work created or ideas generated through research in collaboration with the locals will be presented as site-specific interventions, performances, workshops, and artist talks in alternative and abandoned spaces within and around the Iwaya/Makoko community.
ICAB Lagos is an artist-run community-based gathering of contemporary and interdisciplinary artists. This biennial will largely feature multimedia projects: audio/visual experimentation created through communal research, interaction and collaboration with ordinary people living within and outside the community.
For the duration of the biennial week, the work of more than 40 local and international artists/collectives from the VAL network of artists and social-conscious art institutions in the global south and the global north will be presented to more than 250,000 people in different locations of the community and its environs.