Kenyon College

Uche Okpa-Iroha and Carol Magee: In Dialogue

October 13, 2017 4:15pm – 5:00pm

Exhibiting Nigerian artist Uche Okpa-Iroha and guest curator Dr. Carol Magee will share the stage in this casual open dialogue about the expanding art scene in the densely urban city of Lagos.

Uche Okpa-Iroha and Carol Magee: In Dialogue

Friday, October 13th     4:15pm

Community Foundation Theater, Gund Gallery

Nigerian artist Uche Okpa-Iroha began making photographs in 2005.  He is noted for his portraits that create dialogues between his subjects and their living conditions, and for his manner of using the photographic medium to investigate the stereotypical representation of African cultures.  Okpa-Iroha is a founding member of the Nigerian photography groups Blackbox Photography Collective, and Invisible Borders Trans-African Photography. His first major work, Under Bridge Life, published in 2008 was favorably received by the critics and exposed him to the international media and art market.  Okpa-Iroha exhibits internationally; recent major showings include the First African Photo Contest, Tarifa, Spain 2008; Loving Lagos, Berlin 2008; the 10th Havana Biennial, 2009; Uprooting the Gaze; Foreign Places, Familiar Patterns, Brighton Photo Fringe 2010; African Emerging Photography, Paris Photo 2011 and The Ungovernables (Invisible Borders Group), New Museum, New York 2012.  In 2015, he showed his work at the La Biennale di Venezia 56th International Art Exhibition, and was among the World Press Photo Joop Swart Masterclass selection committee in 2016. An alumnus of the Rijksakademie van Beeldende kunsten, Amsterdam, the Netherlands (2011- 2012), he lives and works in Lagos as a photographer, and as founder/Director of the photography platforms The Nlele Institute (TNI) and Lagos OPEN RANGE. He is also the co-founder of FOTOPARTY Lagos, and the curator of GT Bank ART 635 Gallery.

Carol Magee specializes in African contemporary art with an emphasis on photography. Her current research examines African urban photography and sound art that investigates emotional, physical, psychological, or philosophical experiences of place.  As a Co-PI for the Learning from Artists’ Archives project she is actively engaged with North Carolina artists, archivists, and students, helping facilitate the growth of communities that benefit from mutual learning and building on one another’s expertise. Her first book, Africa in the American Imagination: Popular Culture, Racialized Identities and African Visual Culture (University Press of Mississippi, 2011) analyzed how popularly circulated objects significantly shape knowledge about Africa and the implications of that knowledge for Americans and Africans alike. Her interest in the structures of knowledge production also undergirds a collection of essays co-edited with Joanna Grabski (Dennison University). African Art, Interviews, Narratives: Bodies of Knowledge at Work (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2013) considers how interviews, interlocutors, and art historical narratives engage and entangle in the processes of scholarly production. She is a founding member of UNC’s Editorial Board as a partner in African Arts’ publishing consortium. After receiving her PhD from the University of California, Santa Barbara, she held a Woodrow Wilson Postdoctoral Fellowship at Elon University.


Top Image: Uche Opka-Iroha, American Dream, 2008. Digital print on aluminum. 80 x 60 centimeters. Courtesy of the artist.

The Gund Gallery exhibitions and programs are sponsored, in part, by the Gund Gallery Board of Directors, the Ohio Arts Council, and the Mellon Foundation.