G.A.S. Foundation welcomes Evan Ifekoya as its latest artist-in-residence, whose residency is made possible through the British Council. The Nigerian-born` interdisciplinary artist's practice is an exercise in honoring the sacredness of sound. With the elevation of black consciousness in mind, their exploration of sound's sacredness and healing potential has taken on a new dimension. Drawing on the elements of water and fire, they are now exploring more symbolic and ritual mediums within their studio. They see their practice as a medium to subvert and redefine conventions and systems in contemporary spaces and places.
What is the current focus of your creative practice?
Sonic architecture, sacred and ritual space, physiopoetics of water.
My work takes a multi-dimensional approach to exploring the intersections of sound, architecture, and the body. I'm exploring a more mystical outlook to examining the relationship between space and sound, and generally creating wholly immersive, sensory experiences that transform the body's relationship to space and sound.
Evan Ifekoya, Resonant Frequencies, (2022), exhibition view, Migros Museum, Zurich. Photo: Stefan Altenburger
What drew you to apply for this residency, and how will it inform your wider practice?
One of the most attractive things about the residency at G.A.S. is the opportunity to visit and explore various water bodies and sacred sites in Lagos and upcountry, I'm also hoping to connect authentically with Nigerian indigenous sound - with a specific focus on percussion instruments- which will help me generate a body of sonic material that will form the basis of my sound work.
Evan Ifekoya, Ritual Without Belief, Installation view, 2018. Commissioned by Gasworks. Courtesy of the artist. Photo: Andy Keate
Can you give us an insight into how you hope to use the opportunity?
The opportunity is great for reconnecting with Nigeria, Nigerians, and native spirituality. Work produced during this residency will be exhibited at the upcoming Lagos Biennial. During the residency, I'll also spend time working on my research into the life and work of Amelia Pedroso.
Undercurrent 528, film still, Evan Ifekoya, (2022)
Evan Ifekoya (b. Iperu Nigeria, lives in London) is an artist whose work in community organising, installation, performance, sound, text and video is an extension of their calling as a spiritual practitioner. They view art as a site where resources can be both redistributed and renegotiated, whilst challenging the implicit rules and hierarchies of public and social space. Strategies of space holding through architectural interventions; archival and sonic investigations; ritual and sound enable them to make a practice of living in order not to turn to despair.
They established the collectively run Black Obsidian Sound System (B.O.S.S.) in 2018. They have presented exhibitions, moving image and performances across UK and Internationally, most recently: a solo exhibition at Migros Museum Zurich (2022); Herbert Art Gallery and Museum as nominees of the Turner Prize (with B.O.S.S. 2021); De Appel Netherlands (2019) and Gasworks London (2018).