Sunday, December 07, 2008

Egungun: Diaspora Recycling

Egungun: Diaspora Recycling
An Art Exposition & Border Crossings

The exhibition will be on view until April 2009, in the Fine Arts Library, UT at Austin. The exhibition combines works of contemporary Nigerian/American artists with the traditional Egungun ensembles: The hours of the exhibition follow the library hours and it is free. The exhibition is curated by Moyo Okediji, whose works are on display as well.

If you want to know what is an Egungun Masquerade, a short description would be: Egungun society members in Yorubaland, Nigeria, honor the deceased ancestors with annual masquerade performances. The most widespread masquerade is the Egungun. These masquerades vary regionally; Egungun is a multimedia performance, which includes music, dancing, singing. the singing usually is narrative. The dancer (the masker), who is covered with the cloth (preferably called ensemble) dances and sings throughout the performance. The masker is not considered an actor, but rather the receiver of the returning ancestral spirit; the spirit takes possession of the masker. So interestingly the mask conceals and reveals at the same time: It conceals the dancer, the person, the individual and it reveals the divine spirit of ancestors. The community members seek the protection and aid of their ancestors through the performance.

Although people were happy with my gallery talk, I was not that happy with it; I don't know how much of the talk that I had prepared, was communicated with the audience; I was nervous and I didn't follow the order I planned for the talk! This is the invitation poster for the opening, which was on Friday.

Egungun: Diaspora Recycling; An Art Exposition & Border Crossings


Siavash said...

So, you're done with that at last. Must have been exhausting!
Don't be tired!!!!:))
I wish I could hear the Talk.

Tameshk said...

Siavash Jan
Thanks :D Just come to Austin soon after you are back from CT, The exhibition will be on view for some time and I assure you my talk will be available as well.