“The Artist Isn’t Present”: Ayọ̀ Akínwándé at Many Studios, Glasgow

Ayọ̀ Akínwándé, “Nkwagwu I”, "Bad Market Series”, 2018, Video installation, Courtesy of the artist and the Gallow Gate
Ayọ̀ Akínwándé, “Nkwagwu I”, “Bad Market Series”, 2018, video installation, courtesy of the artist and the Gallow Gate

Opening March 23, 2019, Ayọ̀ Akínwándé’s first solo exhibition in the United Kingdom, titled “The Artist Isn’t Present”, will be presented at The Gallow Gate at Many Studios in Glasgow. This work is informed by Akínwándé’s architectural background, incorporating design processes in the spatial sectioning of ideas that evoke both intimacy and the monumental.

For this exhibition – a video installation – the artist has worked around the idea of completion by inviting the viewer to his work environment, as the exhibition is “under construction”. Using materials found on construction sites such as corrugated zinc sheets, wood, and stone, the artist mimics the restriction areas on construction sites to signify the invisibility of the artists’ process to their audience.

The video work is based on Akínwándé’s ongoing research on markets. It explores ways of marking time across cultures, using the market system of the Igbos – in present day South-East Nigeria – as a starting point. The Gallow Gate is located in an original Barras Market building, and the geography and relationship to the only outdoor market in Glasgow became a point of interest to the artist. As part of this research, the artist traveled to various markets in the city of Enugu and Abakaliki, places where he had spent significant time a decade earlier as a graduate. 

Ayọ̀ Akínwándé is a multi-disciplinary artist, experimenting with lens-based media, installation, sculpture, performance, and sound to explore concepts of identity, duality and the multi-faceted layers of the human reality.

The exhibition will be on view until May 5, 2019, at The Gallow Gate, Many Studios, Glasgow, Scotland.

Preview: March 22, 2019, 6pm – 9pm

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