Invisible Borders becomes First Nigerian Photography Collective to exhibit at Photography Museum of Amsterdam (FOAM)

Invisible Borders has become the first Nigerian photography collective to exhibit at the Photography Museum of Amsterdam (FOAM).

Invisible Borders Trans-African Photographers Organisation is an artist-led initiative works with artists and Individuals in contributing to the patching of numerous gaps and misconceptions posed by frontiers within the 54 countries of Africa through art and photography. Beyond that, the organisation hopes to expand its activities beyond issues that relate to geographic borders and other forms of discriminating parameters in photography and arts. It is a platform that also stands as a symbol of exchange of ideas between cultures and people.

FOAM (Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam) is a renowned photography museum on the Keizersgracht canal in the centre of Amsterdam. It holds regular exhibitions of photos from both noted international and younger up-and-coming photographers. With some 200,000 annual visitors, FOAM is the most popular photography museum in the Netherlands.

Over recent years, in all kinds of places around the globe, collectives have been formed that are not tied to specific institutes or to ways of organising activities that are imposed from above.

There is a growing tendency among photographers and artists as well to join forces and organise themselves. Many such collectives are based on do-it-yourself principles of ‘cut out the middleman’.

Although their points of departure, artistic strategies, processes and visual end products are extremely diverse, they have in common an enthusiasm for interdisciplinary collaboration and an open view of the world. The collectives differ in organization and form: some are no more than loose associations of varying composition without an agenda, while others operate as far more business-like undertakings. One collective might present itself as an auction house, another as a shop, digital flower-power movement or tirelessly traveling caravan.

The digitalization of photography and the rise of social media have unleashed a huge flood of images. The immense quantity and the transience of photos may make it hard to attribute more significance to photography than is intrinsic to a quick glance at yet another picture on Instagram. Working together to attach value and meaning to images is the central theme of the exhibition Collectivism. Collectives And Their Quest For Value. Some collectives investigate the mechanisms and distributions systems that cause financial values to be attributed to images. Others operate as social agents, bringing people together by means of images and creating communities, online or otherwise. The exhibition also presents collectives that concern themselves with the value of images in the media and the organisation of dissenting voices to challenge the mainstream media.

In a world obsessed with artefacts – the physical, final object – as the preferred form of artistic outcomes, Invisible Borders shifts the gaze to emphasise the never-ending, evolutive nature of Process. No distinction, hence, is made between the value of images showing the work-process and images showing the outcome; they are complementary. The artist’s presence on the road is as important as the work that commences from that presence.

Central to the Invisible Borders Installation in the exhibition Collectivism. Collectives and Their Quest For Value is the idea of the collective as a platform for the nurturing of mindsets and perceptions that offer alternative methodologies and ways of being in an increasingly narrow and enclosed notion of place, territory, and identity. As such, we shall employ as a metaphor the Road ‘s unending nature. The project will be presented as a work-of-process, an interminable voyage so to speak.

Thus, the works of the participating artists will be presented as a complimentary association between process and precipitated outcome, consisting of images, texts, sound and videos.

Artists whose works make up the Invisible Borders exhibition are: Ala Kheir, Amaize Ojeikere, Jide OdukoyaLilian Novo IsioroTeresa Meka, Tom SaaterVanessa PetersonJumoke Sanwo, Charles Okereke, Uche Okpa Iroha, Emmanuel Iduma, Ray Daniels Okeugo, Uche OkonkwoLucy Azubuike , Yinka ElujobaEmeka Okereke. 

Contributing collectives of the entire exhibition are 8Ball Community (USA), Dead Darlings (NL), # Dysturb (FR), The Eternal Internet Brother/ Sisterhood (GR), De Fotokopie (NL), InvisibleBorders (NG), and Werker Magazine (ES/NL).


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