Tiwani Contemporary is pleased to announce The Pineapple Show, a group exhibition curated by Zina Saro-Wiwa and presented by Boys’ Quarters Project Space, the gallery founded by Saro-Wiwa and situated in Port Harcourt, Nigeria. For this exhibition, Zina Saro-Wiwa has drawn together a group of artists working out of Nigeria, the UK and the United States, who have produced artworks that explore the semiotics of the iconic pineapple fruit and expand its cultural narratives.
The pineapple has long served to represent identity, status and expression across diverse and international cultures. The Pineapple Show aims to add to the western European canon of visual representations of and literature on the fruit, which has often privileged an imperialist vision of the pineapple as a symbol of power, wealth and exoticism. The exhibition will mine, expose and invent new narratives around the pineapple. It will explore the fruit’s many histories as well as its cultural, emotional and psychic resonances, taking on issues of labour and luxury, power and powerlessness, vulnerability and violence, language, gender, hair, memory and otherness: all issues that have emerged from meditations on this fruit and are expressed through the bodies and practices of the artists involved.
Artists included in the show are: Elizabeth Colomba (Martinique/USA), Ian Deleón (USA/Brazil/Cuba), Ayana Evans (USA), Jowhor Ile (Nigeria), Odili Donald Odita (USA/Nigeria), Perrin Oglafa (Nigeria), Temitayo Ogunbiyi (Nigeria), Zina Saro-Wiwa (Nigeria/USA/UK), Johnson Uwadinma (Nigeria), Arlene Wandera (Kenya/UK) and Mavo (Nigeria).
Through a diverse range of media encompassing painting, drawing, sculpture, video, sound, photography, performance and fiction, these artists variously consider the pineapple as a symbol of romantic love in Nigeria; an inspiration for African hairstyles; the dialogue between the black female body and the labour involved in pineapple production; and as an emotional lodestar, a cosmic entity, a portal.
The exhibition demonstrates Boys’ Quarters’ commitment to examining the relationship between self and environment and sees the gallery continue its investigations into local food and food cultures, re-defining and re-imagining what ‘environmentalism’ can mean.
Boys’ Quarters Project Space is situated in the old offices of the late writer, environmental activist and Nobel-nominee, Ken Saro-Wiwa, in Port Harcourt. The building is made up of two small gallery spaces, a reading room and Ken Saro-Wiwa’s actual office which is now a miniature museum hosting photographic and video installation works relating to his personal life and international legacy.