a collaborative installation by Aderemi Adegbite and Jon Krizan
"The premise of the installation was to reintroduce a relationship with naturogenic nature in Lagos through Yoruba culture, in order to provide viewers with a greater connection to it than just a spectacular cognition."
Like many regions around the world, Lagos has undergone a social evolution from an agrarian society, a cultivation of the surrounding primeval ecosystem, toward a service economy, where humans survive via consumption and exchange. In this unprecedented historical shift no longer do humans often require a direct relationship with the ‘land’, but rather instead encounter a direct relationship to services. As a result many residents of Lagos no longer have an interactive relationship with the landscape, and only perceive it as a spectacle.
The Railway compound has fortuitously maintained its opulent landscape, providing visitors with the opportunity to encounter native naturogenic systems that would have otherwise been disintegrated by roads and buildings in the development of Lagos. The premise of the installation was to reintroduce a relationship with naturogenic nature in Lagos through Yoruba culture, in order to provide viewers with a greater connection to it than just a spectacular cognition.
Yorubaland (Oyo Empire) was the prior region within West Africa, spanning Nigeria, Benin, and Togo, and previously cultivated much of the area of Lagos before European settlers commandeered it. The people of Yoruba culture practiced an Agrarian lifestyle, and for that their religion was deeply rooted with an understanding of Nature. Although much of the traditional understanding has been lost due to the inculcation of Christianity and Islam throughout Yorubaland (or Nigeria), Yoruba’s spiritual connection is still celebrated today. Aderemi and Jon explored Yoruba’s traditional perception of nature as a powerful canon for engaging the body and soul.
The installation utilizes elements from the traditional Yoruba ceremony, a practice of appeasing nature to reignite ones inner-being, and situates them next to a naturogenic garden that was discovered within the Running Shed. The piece has two schematic parts, the first consisting of traditional spiritual elements, and the second being nature circumscribed by a white curtain. Together a dialogue is illuminated between objects of spiritual value and the spirit itself, nature.