“If the theory is correct that feeling is not located in the head, that we sentiently experience a window, a cloud, a tree not in our brains but rather in the place where we see it, then we are, in looking at our beloved, too, outside ourselves.”
Walter Benjamin, Einbahnstraße, 1928
Zohra Opoku’s and Emeka Alams’ first collaborative installation presents a figure resembling a fragmented angel. The work is assembled from remnant textiles gathered in Lagos, Nigeria and combined with objects and a black banner carrying abstract symbols. The installation poses questions that run like threads through the exhibition as a whole: Is “future” necessarily a fragment, a new combination of existing material, rather than a solid vision or a linear story? Looking at the installation, Walter Benjamin’s famous “Angel of History” comes to mind: staring at
the past, unable to interact, heal or alter it, the angel is pushed towards the future. There are many other possible perspectives on futures as the fragmented angel here suggests, looking to all directions, simultaneously.
Zohra Opoku (DE/GH) is an Accra-based versatile artist whose work employs media including installations, photography and video to explore the sophistication of textile cultures in disparate spaces targeting fashion’s political and psychological role and socio-cultural dynamics in relation to African history and individualistic or societal identities.
This experience enroots her aesthetic practice into sculptural modules as her [in]direct social commentary as seen in THE BILLBOARDPROJECT, composed of big scale installations of second-hand clothes which were displayed in central Accra. She is employing metaphors of repetition and disguise in her portrait series TEXTURES and SIDESPECIFIC presented in specifically identified locations.
Opoku holds an MA (2003) in Fashion from the Hamburg University of Applied Sciences. Her residencies include Art OMI, Ghent (NY/2012)/, Iwalewa Haus Bayreuth (DE/2013) and Jan van Eyck Institute (NL/2014). Opoku was recently awarded a fellowship for the Kala Institute Berkeley (CA/2015). She is included in the touring group exhibitions Making Africa (2015-20) curated by Amelie Klein and Okwui Enwezor. Upcoming exhibitions include the Material Effects curated by Yesomi Umolu at Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum, Michigan and Designing Futures curated by Christina de Middel at the LagosPhoto Festival 2015.