Leo Asemota SASH OF FULFILMENT26. Oct - 14. Dec 13 / ends in 3 days Contemporary Rooms at EotLA
The Contemporary Rooms at EoTLA will be installing two suites of works comprising photographs, drawings, sculptures and videos by artist Leo Asemota. The works are organized from The longMarch of Displacement (2008) and Count Off for Eo ipso (2012), live art works from two distinct phases in The Ens Project.
The Ens Project is a work of art Asemota has assiduously been evolving since spring 2005. Focused on the human head as its expressive weight, the Project is informed by Edo people of Benin’s art and ceremony to the Head, Victorian age of invention, exploration and conquest and Walter Benjamin’s essay A Work of Art in the Age of its Technological Reproducibility (1936). The Project comprises three phases: First Principles (2005 – 2008), The Handmaiden (2009 – 2012) and Eo ipso, which is ongoing.
The longMarch of Displacement (2008) concluded 6 stages that make up the Project’s First Principles. Offering historical insight on Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897 in counterpoint with the British sacking of Benin Kingdom, the performance featured three characters known as Agents of the Union in a procession along the arc of the Victoria Embankment from Westminster Bridge to Blackfriars Bridge en route to St. Paul’s Cathedral where they carried out a sequence of actions on a plaque commemorating her.
Count Off for Eo ipso (2012) was conceived as a prologue to Eo ipso, the last component in The Ens Project. The multi-site performance involved one sequence that began at St. Paul’s Cathedral in tandem with another in the Tanks at Tate Modern where they merged to reach its point of highest development. Using the Project’s 7-year history and Tate’s conversion of architect Sir Giles Gilbert Scott’s Bankside Power Station as its conceptual basis, the live art work was an enactment of Hï, 14 completed alternating lifecycles in the transfiguration of a creative being called The Handmaiden who Asemota characterizes, using the architect as an avatar. Each lifecycle was intimated through a cast of Tate Collective members that worked with Asemota to devise the performance as well as in the project’s core materials: palm oil, coal, orhue (kaolin), coral, iron, brass and hibiscus flower.
Leo Asemota is a London based Nigerian born artist. A survey of The Ens Project’s First Principles was presented at New Art Exchange, Nottingham (2011). Exhibitions of different stages in the project include The Handmaiden Part 2 at Centrum Beeldeende Kunst, Amsterdam (2010); The Handmaiden Part 1 at Metal, Liverpool (2010); ens memoralis a live art work at National Portrait Gallery, London (2008) as well as in the group shows One’s History is Another’s Misery at Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam (2009) and Autocenter Berlin (2009) and Emerging Discourses: Performance and Mimicry at Bodhi Art, New York (2008)
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