till 21st June 2020 @ Horniman Museum, London
The art world remains hugely Eurocentric, and even living in London it can be really tricky to find shows of work by artists and photographers from outside Europe.
The wonderful, slightly eccentric Horniman Museum in south London is currently hosting a small exhibition of work by Nigerian photographer Jide Odukoya. Based in Lagos, he is a street and documentary photographer, challenging the poverty porn of Western photographers by showcasing the glamour and flamboyance of traditional Nigerian wedding ceremonies.
Nevertheless, ‘Turn it Up: On Paradoxes’ also makes clear the dissonance between the opulent wedding celebrations and the everyday poverty that is a part of Lagos life for many.
The Horniman reminds us that the phrase “Turn it Up” is “modern vernacular for lavish fun”. Many of these photographs are joyful, and full of family pride, happiness and intimacy. Safe to say, Odukoya is a few times more talented than the photographer who took the photos at my own wedding!
However, the photo series also shines a spotlight on the global reach of a tendency towards rampant, aspirational consumerism, as popularised by celebrity culture, which has come to characterise 21st century life in many places.
Entry to the exhibition is free, and there’s plenty of other stuff to see at the museum, including its iconic overstuffed walrus.
“How to Love” (2019):