Cross-cultural Conversations: Artistic Being in Lagos and Berlin
This paper argues that artworks by Emeka Ogboh and Abraham Oghobase mediate relationships to the urban environments in which they live and work, and help create Lagos and Berlin for audiences globally while at the same time raising philosophical questions about what it means to be in a place. I demonstrate this by examining two works: Ogboh and Kristian Kowatsch’s sound piece Oshodi Stock Exchange and Abraham Oghobase’s photographic series Lost in Translation. In each, the two cities are in dialogue with one another. Borders blur, place dissolves. In the former, a constructive conversation occurs, generating myriad collaborations; in the latter, the difficulties of cross-cultural communication are made evident. My paper considers these points of contact, and the spaces in between, as well as the listening and writing that occur around them. Drawing on philosophical writings about place and artistic media, I analyze the visual and aural strategies these artists employ to convey their experiences. Doing so offers insights into Berlin and Lagos particularly, and place, more broadly.