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When We Are Not What We Are

Rele Gallery is pleased to present Sejiro Avoseh’s first solo exhibition. Comprising of four distinct series, this new body of work are assembled under the title “When We Are Not What We Are”. The exhibition’s title is construed as a metaphor that unravels the performative character of human beings as they respond to social and material conditions brought about by modern life and the society one finds oneself.  However, it also considers Avoseh’s creative approach, the poetics of his forms, and the political nature of the various subject matters he addresses in his oeuvre that are not always apparent to the viewer. 

The various works in this exhibition might be approached as commentaries on human experiences and existential conditions centered on contemporary Nigerian society and informed by the artist’s social background and upbringing.  Whereas some of the works treat biblical subjects such as in the “Enlightening” series, others from the “Physiognomical Distinction” series address larger questions on cultural stereotypes vis-à-vis human relationships and social interactions. Other works from the “Stay with Me” series explore man’s pursuit of meaning through relationships. Yet, works from the “Radio” series is inspired by the mid-century studio portraits of the late Malian photographer Seydou Keita which mirrored how Malians performed modernity. For Avoseh, however, the radio has deeper meaning. It was the main source of information in the neighborhood where he grew up, and in his work, it acts as a metaphor for community and communication.

Like a bird, Avoseh, weaves a nest using various materials and takes us on a journey through his artistic process, his sources of inspiration, and his examination of the human condition.