This campaign to publish a monograph of J.D Okhai Ojeikere – one of Nigeria’s most prolific, post-independence photographs has taken the internet by storm – already close to its target – it’s picked up support from a variety of sources, including one blog running a daily countdown.
Featuring sumptuous images of the photographer’s work, which in recent years has come to increasing prominence, and the obvious passion and track record of Bisi Silva from Lagos’ Centre for Contemporary Art who is spearheading the project – it is quite stunning.
With Kickstarter of course, the stakes are always high – if the money is not raised in full, they get none of it. If successful, the book will be launched at the 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair in London, October 2014. If you want to support….
Or learn a little more…
Silva says the publication is important because it will put Ojeikere’s work in context – showing his outstanding impact on the development of photography in Nigeria, and will include one of the last detailed interviews with him before he died; placing him in context alongside other pioneering African photographers like Seydou Keita, Malick Sidibe and James Barnor.
The book promises to show his work in relation to recent Nigerian photography, and also the different areas of architechture, art, and hairstyle that were an important signature in Ojeikere’s ouevre.
Who is J.D. Okhai Ojeikere?
‘Okhai Ojeikere (Edo State, Nigeria 1930-2014) began his photography career in 1950 after acquiring his first camera, a Kodak Model Brownie D. Over a period spanning six decades the artist had amassed an archive of over 10,000 images that bear witness to the critical role that photography has played in the history of Nigeria and throughout Africa.
Ojeikere’s work has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions and has been featured in more than fifty group shows, among them Documenta XII (2007), the 55th Venice Bienniale (2013), Museum of Contemporary Art, Kiasma, Helsinki (2011) and the Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos (2010).
His work is featured in major museum collections such as the Museum of Modern Art (NYC), Metropolitan Museum of Art (NYC), the Brooklyn Museum (NYC), the Tate Modern (London), Victoria and Albert Museum (London), and the Musée du quai Branly (Paris).
Ojeikere’s groundbreaking career has dramatically influenced the trajectory of photography in Nigeria, Africa, and the world more broadly.
Dele Meiji Fatunla