Joseph Obanubi – Nominated for Merck-Prize 2020

Who are you?

Joseph Obanubi is a multimedia artist based in Lagos, Nigeria, whose work explores the relationship between Identity, Fantasy, Technology and Globalisation. He is best known for his collages which reconstruct fragments found in everyday experiences.

In your work, what do you deal with?

Obanubi considers his work to be a visual bricolage – a (re)construct of different subjects taken from their original context into a new one. His creative ideology stems from concepts of delusion, surrealism, futurism and experimentation, providing an alternative way of seeing regular things.

Which of your works has been nominated for the Merck Prize?

Techno Heads – Images from the Past

What are you currently working on?

I am currently working on a project titled “How close can it get?, which interrogates the limits of closeness in relation to dense urban populations. Inspired by the movements of people within the city of Lagos, I imagine both real and imagined spaces. Referencing currencies, numbers and analytical data, overlapping different sources and modes of technological information. Combining texts, writings and inscriptions using an embossing technique, along with drawings, digital collage and stamping, I map the city from a nuanced perspective. Also,I  point to how people’s experiences of personal space are dictated by socio-economic conditions and wealth inequalities. 

Which (photo-) book can you recommend?

Bystander: A History of Street Photography
by Colin Westerbeck and Joel Meyerowitz
How You Look At It: Photographs of the 20th Century
by Heinz Liesbrock
I want to take picture 
by Bill Burke

What else would you like to show or say?

Thousands of Nigerian youths have been on the streets demanding an end to police brutality, disbandment of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Nigerian police and comprehensive police reforms and systematic oppression as well as dehumanization. Our voices will be heard!

Joseph Obanubi online

Joseph on Instagram