Once again, the international art world has come knocking on Nollywood’s door. The photography exhibition, Sharon Stone in Abuja (which references the popular Nollywood film of the same name), will open tomorrow at Location One in New York City. The show, which features works by Wangechi Mutu, Pieter Hugo, Mickalene Thomas, Andrew Esiebo, and Zina Saro-Wiwa, promises to “reimagine the visual conventions of Nollywood film-making and explore the emotional landscape of Nigeria and Africa”. Filmmaker and AfricaLab founder Zina Saro-Wiwa and James Lindon of Pace Gallery are the co-curators.
I was not impressed by Pieter Hugo’s Nollywood show at Yossi Milo in New York City earlier this year, which I felt decontexualized the industry to the point of portraying it as the freakish “other”. Thus, I am skeptical if Sharon Stone in Abuja will actually contribute worthwhile dialogue to current discussions about the industry or if it will just sensationalize Nollywood’s frequent depictions of rituals and witchcraft. Since I’m no longer on my old stomping grounds to see the exhibition in person, I would be more than happy to publish any gallery-goer’s account of the show. What do you think of the concept?