Swimming Upstream | ARTX Lagos 2022, Lagos Nigeria

SWIMMING UPSTREAM is inspired by our personal and collective search for freedom and identity in the different parts of our lives that include social, cultural, financial and existential tenets. It expands on the idea of what we are willing to do and how far we are willing to go to find meaning. Entrenched in a world with rules; from the exploration of existential rules of memory, space and time in Damilola Onosowbo’s works to socio-cultural rules of gender norms and roles in Nene Mahlangu and Justice Mukhelli’s works and to class divisions built on the basis of financial rules in Anne Adams’ installation, these works dissect and delve into what it is like to go against the current. ... They examine what living deliberately could look like, while also confronting and coming to terms with the upheaval of emotions that taking such risk unveils and how that unfailingly seeps into each of their works. Each artist asks difficult questions of their audience while also taking us through a journey that brings forth the kind of soul-searching that inevitably leads to self-discovery, thereby marking the journey with as much importance and value as the destination. They remind us to just keep swimming.