Obaseki applauds historic Nigerian art at Italian Biennale
Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki yesterday commissioned the Nigerian Pavilion at the 57th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia, which was the first time Nigeria would have a pavilion at the historical art biennale.
The governor revealed that his love for the arts, which was ignited at an early age, was born in the ancient city of Benin, which he described as “a place with a rich sense of culture and history.”
He pointed out that an expansion of his worldview later made him appreciate art as a veritable medium of transforming and advancing society through the visual medium.
In his words: “Art brings beauty into our world, giving us a sense of enjoyment and pleasure. But art is not all fun and personal gratification; it is central to social change!
“Through their expressive talents, artists can deepen knowledge of, as well as initiate positive changes in a people‘s political, economic, social and moral life.”
Obaseki noted that the aim of the Nigerian Pavilion, which had the theme: ‘How About Now?’ was to expand the understanding of Nigerian contemporary life through the works of three artists.
The artists include Victor Ehikhamenor, who featured as a painter, Peju Alatise, who featured as a sculptor and Qudus Onikeku, who featured as a choreographer.
The governor disclosed that he was excited about the exhibition not only because it was Nigeria’s first showing at the Biennale, but also because it corresponded with Edo State Government’s vision to engender socio-cultural and economic development through the promotion of art and tourism.
A curator, Adenrenle Sonariwo revealed that their presentation sought to use the narrative of the present to interrogate the minefield of societal consciousness in addressing aspects of identity and belonging as they relate to Nigerian history.