The show will coincide with the US premiere of the film “Nosferasta: First Bite” (33min | 2021 | dir. Khalil and Sweitzer) at The Museum of Modern Art, New York on Monday, September 19th.
The exhibition features a suite of new sculptures by Oba, a Trinidadian artist and musician living in Brooklyn, who is also the star, executive producer, and co-writer of Nosferasta: First Bite. Oba’s intricate assemblages utilize a wide variety of media, such as cardboard, acrylic paint, beads, glass, currency of all types, shells, brocade ribbons, sequins, cell phones, glitter, trimming and other textiles. His coffin-like figures reference various mythological idols - Egyptian pharaohs, demigods, ritualistic burial sites and Art Historical effigies. Painstakingly crafted in his bedroom, Oba’s adorned sculptures recall shrouded altars, obscured (perversely) beneath an accumulation of offerings from their own worshipers.
Presented within this immersive installation is a seamlessly looped version of Nosferasta: First Bite, which reimagines Oba’s own origin story as an immortal Rastafarian vampire, and Christopher Columbus, Oba’s original biter, who work together spreading the colonial infection throughout the “new world.” Glimpses of Oba’s early years as Columbus’ young protege are blended with present day scenes of a now mortal Oba as he confronts the imperial bureaucracy he once helped establish. Together, the sculptures and film culminate in an impressionistic blur that poses questions of authorship, collaboration, and myth while also offering a glimmer of hope that it is perhaps possible to escape Babylon while still living inside of it.