Why people call me Senior Artvocate from Nigeria, by Eni
Germany-based Nigerian painter, sculptor, multimedia performance artist, Emmanuel Eni, popularly called Blackman in European Kitchen, in this interview with DR. FRANK OGIOMOH, and made talks about his art, philosophy.
How have the various institutions you attended including London’s Royal Academy of Art impacted your career as an artist?
BEING in the best universities reading art was like incubating an already hatched egg. The strong drive and divine inspiration and hunger for groundbreaking inspiration was like a deep fire in my heart and mind. This later showed in the over three decades of my art career, which is held and understood as iconoclasts of uncommon proportions, as a poet and philosopher whose art is feeding all branches of the creative tree, ultimately with philosophy and poetry as the underlying root of my sculptures, paintings, installations, and performance. Thus, creating some unique and patented discoveries, like my “New light Paintingsart”, “Basic metric scale for art products, BMSFAP, a scale, which ascertains the price of a work of a given art, “Contemporary Barock” Art, the amalgamation of every form of art.
Being the writer and performer of “Blackman in European kitchen” a summation of differences and similarities of cultures and tradition to add with, and the creator of “Israel and Palestine Installation”, another of my works which is the first iconograph expressing the “mother” and a key example of dis-harmony and that of warfare, whose characteristics reflects in many different wars worldwide.
Apart from these so-called iconic works of mine, there is also a ‘mamuth fundus’ to enjoy from my one million works on paper stretched over 30 years, 1,200 sculptures in Terracotta, re-enforced concrete, fiberglass, and Bronze, with over 300 framed paintings on canvas including some of ‘The New light paintings Art’. My greatest joy is my listing in Forbes and IMDB in 2020, under the category most successful, most popular amongst other ratings.
My other iconic works include: “Junking of the Elephant” (LIVE Bestruction of A 30 Ton heavy Elephant sculpture I made from Reinforced Concrete, as an ecological statement). There is also “Emmanuel Eni water for nature preservation” (Art, Music, Fashion and Charity work) and another work is “Death of the curator” Installation (de-mystifying and debunking Art Curatorial practice) which toured many European museums.
Some of my publications include “Masqueradeundressing” poems collection, Cpn Publishers Englang, “Universes of Water” poems, “Death of the curator” Drama, “Kindonkind” Poems on Duality, “Fallandstand” Poems.
What really informed the choice of the title Senior ARTVOCATE from Nigeria (SAN)?
It connotes something new as to the known and the known meaning…
“It is like being a Senior Artvocate of Nigeria as my Art is also a representation of Nigeria and Africa at large as well as humanity. My art deals with questions of decolonisation of Nigerian culture and heritage, which has over a century been diluted and estranged through western interpretation. This is eminent in the subject of all my major works in my campaign to re-establish Africa and promote Nigerian and African philosophy and civilisation. Also, it is about my unending advocacy for the recognition and reaffirmation of Nigeria and Africa as the future and as the cradle of civilization.
How do you combine the mechanical dimensions of art with the literary and performance aspects?
I have united all aspects of art which I practice under my discovered “Contemporary Barock Art”, which has poetry and philosophy as the meeting point in my skill and inspiration in Sculpture, painting, installation art, performance, and music.
In 2006 you featured at the Dak’art biennale with an installation entitled ‘Israel and Palestine’, which became comprehensible when you performed it. What is the inspiration or idea behind this work?
Israel and Palestine wars and conflict is the key war example that can apply here with many characteristics in common as in other wars. In my installation, the concrete visual presence of the colossal dynamite contraption wall is to confront the viewer and bring them face to face with happenings of the war, instead of the safe distance of the news from television and radio. The “Israel and Palestine peace restoration performance” went with it to demount the installation and offer ways of reconciliation through the performance act.
Another work you created entitled “The Death of the Curator (2005) showed at Leipzig’s Museum of Ethnography. The question that arises easily is why display a contemporary work of art in an ethnographic museum. Why?
The Installation ‘Death of The curator’ is not a clinical death; rather it is the critic with the pros and cons of the curating art practice. Museum is described as a play for housing and displaying art, it fitted in as much as in other museums. The fact that the museums have a vast collection of African Art taken away during the colonial period is timely as to the position or question about how the installed art came into the museum, and also a question of what will come into the museum when the curator is dead.