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Abraham Oghobase: Ecstatic 2008

Monique Pelser
25 January 2013

A review by Monique Pelser

Ecstatic 2008
76.8 x 111.8 cm
Digital Inkjet print

Abraham Oghobase works with self-portraiture; he is working through what it means to be an individual in Lagos, Nigeria.  One of the most densely populated, dynamic and dangerous cities in the world Lagos presents a challenge to survive.  Oghobase’s work deals with the way people live and he opens up the debate about social and political situations. He deals with rural and urban drift and how this affects overpopulation, inflated rental costs and bad or unhealthy living conditions in urban areas.

This is a wonderful almost pious image.  It has an ephemeral quality to it; the blurring of the body gives the impression of his levitating – soaring into the clouds – over the slum-like residences and over the electrical and telephone cables. The dark blues, grays and browns complement each other and the colours give an earthy/ grounded feeling.  Oghobase’s gesture is sacrificial with his arms splayed out at his sides exposing his bare chest and his jeans and shoes and the white car in the bottom right of the image points to contemporary global fashions contextualizing it and bringing it back to contemporary issues.  The telephone and electrical lines running across and through the image behind his body add a graphic element to the image and makes the viewer aware of information and resources.  

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