In the framework of the IAS/IFRA-Nigeria Field Report Seminar, we receive Mr. Ugochukwu-Smooth C. Nzewi, an artist, art historian, and culture activist from Nigeria. He received his B.A. in Fine and Applied Arts from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka in 2001, and a PG. Diploma in Museum and Heritage Studies from University of Western Cape, South Africa in 2006. He is completing his PhD in contemporary African and African Diaspora art history at Emory University, Atlanta, USA.
His current research is his dissertation project, entitled “Dak’Art Biennial in the making of contemporary African Art, 1992-Present.” His next research project will explore the participation of artists of African descent in global exhibitions in and outside of Africa in the 20th century.
Nzewi’s presentation at IFRA, with the title “Mediating contemporary Art in Africa beyond public institutions: Two Nigerian Examples,” examines the activities of the Pan-African Circle of Artists, Enugu and Center for Contemporary Art, Lagos in Nigeria. In the broad scheme of things, PACA and CCA, through their activities, mediate new developments in the Nigerian/African art world to an international audience. At the same time, they serve as a very important conduit through which events and discourses deriving from the international art world are examined and translated to the Nigerian/African art world. He will engage the two organizations comparatively to demonstrate how their activities address national, transnational and international art concerns related to contemporary visual culture in Africa. In so doing, he also underlines how both organizations have continued in the Nigerian tradition of private mediation of art and artistic knowledge, which is as old as the history of modern art in Nigeria.