Ojeikere, A Compelling Monograph on a Photographic Legend

J.D. ‘Okhai Ojeikere’s iconic black and white images chronicle more than six decades of societal, historic and cultural shifts across Nigeria. His hip studio portraits document west African flair. Images of architectural landscapes are reflective of newly acquired independence. The artist’s signature calling card, the widely acclaimed sculptural hairstyles and head gears series of modernity and cultural traditions.

© J.D. 'Okhai Ojeikere (HG) 0541-2005. Courtesy foto ojeikere and CCA,Lagos.

© J.D. ‘Okhai Ojeikere (HG) 0541-2005. Courtesy foto ojeikere and CCA,Lagos.

 

Not since 2000 and the release of  J.D. ‘Okhai Ojeikere: Photographs has there been an extensive publication dedicated to the work of the late Nigerian photographer (1930-2014). This October at 1-54 art fair in London, a new monograph is set to launch with more than 200 photographs from Ojeikere’s archives along with critical essays that includes the artist’s final in-depth interview.

 

J.D. 'Okhai Ojeikere Untitled (HG 0537) 2005. Courtesy foto ojeikere and CCA,Lagos.

J.D. ‘Okhai Ojeikere Untitled (HG 0537) 2005. Courtesy foto ojeikere and CCA,Lagos.

 

J.D. 'Okhai Ojeikere Untitled (HD 1349) 2006. Courtesy foto ojeikere and CCA,Lagos.

J.D. ‘Okhai Ojeikere Untitled (HD 1349) 2006. Courtesy foto ojeikere and CCA,Lagos.

 

J.D. 'Okhai Ojeikere Untitled (Onile Gogoro) 1972. Courtesy foto ojeikere and CCA,Lagos.

J.D. ‘Okhai Ojeikere Untitled (Onile Gogoro) 1972. Courtesy foto ojeikere and CCA,Lagos.

 
This five year project is the work of Bisi Silva, curator and founder of the Centre for Contemporary Art Lagos, Nigeria (CCA Lagos). With access to his extensive archive at studio foto ojeikere, the documentation of Ojeikere’s legacy will bear witness to his influence in not just Nigeria and Africa, but across contemporary photography.

CCA Lagos is an independent art space that is funded on a project-by-project basis. Having recently launched a new publishing arm, they are actively seeking models of sustainability for independent publishing and distribution out of Africa.

With the project in its final stage of development, Silva has launched a kickstarter campaign to complete and print the book. There are some exciting rewards on offer, such as one remaining Ojeikere archival print at £1,500 GBP with copies of the publication for donations of £70 GBP.

The campaign closes on Sept 22nd. Visit the kickstarter page for more details.

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Written by Stephanie Baptist

NigeriaDoing our part to combat immappancy

All images courtesy of foto ojeikere and CCA,Lagos.

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