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NKPAE (Libations)

NKPAE (Libations)

By Bernard Akoi-Jackson

  • Performance on the Atlantic Coast
  • Flight. BANYAN Project
  • He Took Bread
  • Installation, OFKOB
  • from Video "The Cleansing"
  • Legend, Acrylics on Canvas
  • Perhaps those scatterlings were leading somewhere, Acrylics on Canvas
  • Variations on Spirit, IV,  Acrylics on Canvas
  • Untitled (Blueman)
  • Untitled (Goldman)

To be instead of; to take the place of; to do or go in the stead of; to usurp and inhabit, whilst dis-inhabiting; or in usurping, be usurped and transformed; translated, transmuted or even transfigured. ….existence resides in a nebulous continuum, cyclic in nature and recurring. It is a maze that is hazy and yet must be taken. Seeking is a journey…and we, we are nomads all, traversing time and distance to places and to place the self into another or another’s space. Theirs is not to take place, not to establish domicile, but initiate a negotiation and in doing so birthing new negotiations…

“NKPAE” (Libations)

…when, onto the earth,
We pour out the dregs of the wine
After the libation,
We look into the stains on the
Ground
And
See if our prayer(s)
Have
[Perhaps]
Been heard…
(BA-J. 2004)

In this small selection, I have presented work that in one way or the other makes allusions to the concept of Libation, not in a direct sense but in metaphorical ways. Since my work normally deals with individual and collective identity, I am almost always probing the legacies of the post-colonialist enterprise. In this wise then, the images I create tend to have an aura of cultural ambiguity about them. I tend to playfully deal with ideas of loss and disinheritance. In one breath, I propose that identities undergo nuanced tropes of metamorphosis when they encounter another. My work essentially becomes a contestation of lethargic being; we chart the course of a becoming; a seeking to question that state of inertia – inaction - so as to begin [a] journey[s] of [re-]discovery. Conceptually and materially, the general characteristic of my work becomes a bricolage. Disparate elements and layered references intertwine to weave a narrative that despite its simplicity, presents a complexity quite akin to a being of Hybrid nature. Is there any chance of an awakening for a people and a time that has so long become comfortably cocooned in rosy beds of cultural amnesia? How might this current generation and forthcoming ones access the voices of sages gone by, when much of our collective ethos is still couched in syncretic pseudo-scientific models that are severally deficient culturally and spiritually?

There often the need for critical consideration of one’s history and the collective paradigms to check that such tendencies towards cultural amnesia and erasure are not continually perpetuated.

Biography

Bernard Akoi-Jackson

Bernard Akoi-Jackson (b.1979) is an artist and writer who interrogates hybrid post-colonial African identities, through ephemeral, make-shift memorials and performative rituals of the mundane. He graduated with an MFA from the College of Art, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi in 2006. Using critical absurdity, he moves between genres; dance, poetry, installation, performance, photography and video to confront the complexities of his specific cultural moment. In Akoi-Jackson’s work, ‘jest’ is as serious and profound as ‘clout,’ so that a balanced dose of these become the crux of his expression. His writing tracks the development of contemporary Ghanaian and African visual art and culture. His work has featured in exhibitions both in and out of Africa, having shown amongst places, in Ghana, Nigeria, Germany, the Netherlands, Portugal, the United Kingdom. He recently participated in a collateral event of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale in Fort Kochi, Kerala, India.

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