Revue  

Artsville

National Theatre


The EVE And the Hollowing of Nollywood Content
Tosin Igho’s The Eve, currently screening at the Cinemas in Lagos, is a prime example of what critics say about the Neo Nollywood. It’s a far prettier picture than the average, pioneering Nollywood movie. It has a better feel for the glamorous, attention is paid to the music and it speaks with a diction closer to the language of Hollywood. But it has no message to pass to anyone. It doesn’t care for the story telling. And it is not afraid to be empty. This is problematic; to sit in a dark room for over an hour watching moving images who really don’t say much to you. The object of The Eve is an idea; that you could make elaborate plans for a wedding and still end up not getting married. It’s not unusual: it happened in Isoken, (which actually had something to say), but The Eve is one of those movies where the idea is the story (nothing is fleshed out). With the benefit of hindsight, the hint that this was the umpteenth Nigerian Movie about the Marriage Proposal in the space of 24 months should have prompted the debate: What is it going to say? So, briefly, these four handsome young men head to a seaside retreat two days before the scheduled wedding of one of them.

What follows is not only designed in the mould of those American movies in which “shit” happens in some holiday retreat in the couple of days before the Wedding, but there’s heavy copy catting. The eruption into Acapella singing by the four friends mimic the bonding rituals of characters in African American movies; the first conversation between Alero (Meg Otanwa) and the scheduled groom, Funso (Adeolu Adefarasin) references the tired comparison between the Superman and the Batman and there are hardly any memorable scenes in the entire Bachelor’s Eve party other than sketches of the peccadilloes of Austin (Mawuli Gavor) and, of course Funso being caught pants down, live on skype, by the bride-to-be. Conversations allow us to get a sense of the back story, to gain insight into characters, and to empathise with them. “I was the one that burned down the school, not him”, Funso confides to a friend, in one of the several vapid scenes. But how? why? No one asks. It is clear that The Eve needed to have had a robust script conference/workshop before the move to location.

Oshinowo’s Parley Calls Attention to Decay of Yabatech
If you weren’t in the know, you would think that the ongoing multi-month long celebration of the career of the distinguished Nigerian painter Kolade Oshinowo, was part of a deliberate ploy to expose the Yaba College of Technology as an unkempt piece of real estate, poorly suited to hosting the teaching of young Nigerian minds. It certainly sounds boringly familiar that the auditorium of the College’s School of Art and Design has no air-conditioning and is not serviced by any electricity generator capable of running any modicum of temperature control. You’ve heard it before, haven’t you? But Yaba beats its peers in the disrepair game: the auditorium is fiercely dirty. Its walls are filled with grime, the glass windows are caked with sediments of dust. There’s no single seat, in this once gorgeous theatre, that is not threatening to tear off its hinges.

The grounds of the premises of a School dedicated to raising people who create objects of beauty, itself, reeks of decay. There’s always a crowd of people assembled at the entrance to the school: at a glance, they look less than hopeful leaders of tomorrow than a rowdy bunch of motorpark touts. What’s supposed to be a Sculpture Garden feels like a place set up with discarded, standing art pieces, some of them awesome, all of them poorly looked after. Last Thursday’s event, an “International Conference in honour of Kolade Oshinowo @70”, was the third of the series of events honouring Oshinowo at the venue. The state of the auditorium recalled the experience of guests in the School Quadrangle last February, just before an Art Talk was about to start, when the guest of honour himself got up from his seat and, surveying the seedy environment, declared: “We can’t have the conversation here”, Oshinowo insisted. “I am not comfortable sitting here”. The event later held on the open space on the first floor.

Calendar-Alatise Returns to Arthouse-The Space, Omenka Is Nostalgic
Peju Alatise returns to exhibit at the Arthouse-The Space later this month, from April 21. It’s the artist’s third outing with the same organisation in 20 months. Last year, Alatise had a salon exhibit for Arthouse’s VIP guests and then ran a solo exhibition under the auspices of Arthouse-The Space at the Kia Motor Showroom.

It is the same venue that will host this month’s show…. Yesterday, Omenka Gallery, in Ikoyi, opened NOSTALGIA: Glimpses from Diaspora, an exhibition of recent work in mixed media, acrylics and oils on canvas by Kunle Adegborioye…… UNMASKED, by SMO Gallery, featuring the work of seven female artists, continues at the Wheatbaker Hotel in Ikoyi until May 4, 2018. The show includes paintings, photography, digital art, ceramic by Nengi Omuku, Koromone Koroye, Nyancho NwaNri, Djakou Kassi Nathalie, Queen Nwaneri, Reha Shishodia and Somi Nwandu, all based in Nigeria….. From April 7 to 14, 2018, the painter Rauf Thompson will be exhibiting a collection entitled Beyond Drawing and Painting, at the National Council for Art and Culture, National Theatre, from April 27 to April 30.

Moghalu’s Books For LABAF 2018, But….
The Committee For Relevant Art (CORA) has selected Emerging Africa, How the Global Economy’s ‘Last Frontier’ Can Prosper and Matter, by Kingsley Moghalu and Build, Innovate and Grow (BIG): My Vision For (Nigeria), by the same author, as two of the 20 books that will be reviewed and discussed at the 20th Lagos Book and Art Festival (LABAF), in November. The two books fit the overall theme of LABAF 2018, which is Renewal: A World That Works For All, but the challenge of the organisers is whether to invite the author or not. While the Festival theme is loosely inspired by the 2019 elections and the urge to set the conversations around books that prescribe a progressive world order, CORA finds it problematic to have a Presidential candidate as a participant. Politicians have participated in the Festival in the past, but not when they were candidates. Nasir el Rufai discussed his book The Accidental Public Servant, at the 14th edition of LABAF in November 2012, but that was close to three years before he ran for Governor; Supo Shasore was guest at the Festival last year, responding to Aduke Gomez’ questions on his books Possessed and On A Platter three years after he ran for Governorship of Lagos State at the APC primaries.
• Compiled By Staff of Festac News Press Agency

In this article:
Toyin Akinosho
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