Residency Redux: Raymond Pinto Returns to G.A.S. Foundation for the Lagos Biennial

Residency Redux: Raymond Pinto Returns to G.A.S. Foundation for the Lagos Biennial

Sequel to their initial research residency to G.A.S. Lagos in the spring of 2023, we are thrilled to welcome US-based multidisciplinary artist, Raymond Pinto, to Nigeria on their second G.A.S. residency, a testament to the profound impact of their initial trip. Pinto's initial trip to Nigeria was an intensive two-week span packed with networking, studio visits, research trips, and tours of important Yoruba cultural sites such as a walking tour of Lagos Island, a day trip to sites related to the trans-Atlantic slave trade in Badagry, and the Osun-Oshogbo sacred grove. During his inaugural G.A.S. Residency, Pinto also hosted Carry My Not Knowing, an exhibition, interactive workshop, performance, `and screening at G.A.S. Lagos. 


Raymond Pinto leading his March 2023 workshop, Carry My Not Knowing. Photo © G.A.S. Foundation.


Returning in January 2024, Raymond is gearing up for the Lagos Biennial, meticulously preparing performances that promise to captivate and resonate. The residency, spanning from January 3rd to February 8th, 2024, serves as an incubator for their creative endeavors. During this time, they will further deepen their knowledge of Yoruba cultural traditions and practices. The itinerary is as diverse as their artistic palette – from gathering organic sculptural materials at the G.A.S. Farm House in Ikise to casting sculptures in bronze in Benin City - it will also include a new iteration of his creative movement workshop, and a public program at G.A.S. Foundation, contributing to the cultural life and infrastructure of the local artistic community.


Raymond's expectations for the residency are clear – to produce a myriad of new works for the Lagos Biennial, taking place in February of 2024, and explore novel methods of artistic expression. He also plans to connect with local dance communities, various cultural players, centers, and institutes across the city, including the Institute of African and Diaspora Studies at the University of Lagos. The aim is to create a nexus of support and collaboration that transcends borders. Raymond will present work at the 2024 edition of the Lagos Biennial, taking place from the third to the tenth of February, 2024, alongside contemporary visual artists, Nolan Oswald Dennis, and Evan Ifekoya, who also participated in residencies at G.A.S. Lagos in the leadup to the fourth edition of the Biennial. 


How will you be participating in the Lagos Biennial? Can you tell us about what visitors could expect to see from you?    
I will be participating in the Lagos Biennial this year as part of the Traces of Ecstasy pavilion. My work is multidisciplinary and centered in performance. This work to be presented is titled Diffractions. It brings together ensembles from Lagos and The United States. It was important to me to situate the diaspora as a method to express the dynamic expression of African spirituality and culture.


Bella at the Beach. Super 8 Film CPR. Raymond Pinto. Photograph by Elyse Mertz.


Are there any Biennial events that you will be participating in?

Visitors can expect to see my work in a performance on February 4th, 2024 at 4 pm. The performance will feature a movement and sound collage by SAROSAYÉ, Xavier Hadley, and myself. In addition to the eclectic fashion designs of Adeju Thompson founder of the Lagos Space Programme.


Fare Transfer (crop), Print on Canvas with Neon CPR . Photograph by Elyse Mertz.

Is there anything else that you hope to do on your return to Lagos? Is there anything in particular that you're looking forward to?

The next phase of my residency at G.A.S. is set to be an exciting expansion of my previous research. I have plans to explore new facets of my practice that will help me realize aspects of my presentation at the Lagos Biennial. Between visiting the yet to fully discovered Sungbo’s Eredo and connecting with Wildlife conversationists in Lagos, I hope to discover new ways my art practice can hold space for a true sense of regard for the environment. Aside from the research and work ahead of me, I’m also very excited to enjoy the cultural immersion that is sure to bring joy. 


The Zebra Goes Wild Where the Sidewalk Ends (performance). Photograph by Elyse Mertz.


Raymond Pinto is a multidisciplinary artist. They are graduate from the Juilliard School in Dance and from New York University in Performance Studies. They are currently a fellow at The Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop and Harvestworks in NYC.

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