Born in 1974, Kano, Nigeria
Lives and works in Antwerp, Belgium
A visual artist and performer, Nkanga began her art studies at the Obafemi Awolowo University in Ile-Ife, Nigeria and continued at the École Superieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris, France. She was at the residency program at the Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
In 2008 she obtained her Masters in the Performing Arts at Dasarts, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Otobong Nkanga's drawings, installations, photographs and sculptures variously examine ideas around land and the value connected to natural resources.
In the work of Otobong Nkanga, activities and performance permeate all kinds of media and motivate photography, drawing, painting, sculpture, installation and video, though all the different works are thematically connected through architecture and landscape. As a human trace that testifies of ways of living and environmental issues, architecture and landscape act as a sounding board for narration and "the performative". According to the artist herself, she uses her body and voice in live performances or in videos to become the protagonist in her work.
However, her presence serves mostly as a self-effacing catalyst, an invisible hand that sets the artistic process in motion. Nkanga negotiates the completion of the cycle of art between the aesthetic realm of display and a strategy of de-sublimation that repeatedly pushes the status of the artwork into contingency. In many of her works Nkanga reflects metonymically on the use and cultural value connected to natural resources, exploring how meaning and function are relative within cultures, and revealing different roles and histories for the same products, particularly within the context of the artist's autobiography and memories.
June 2013 to June 2014, Otobong Nkanga was a guest of the DAAD Berliner Künstlerprogramm Artists-in-Berlin Program.
Nkanga's recent shows and performances include:
MHKA Anvers « Bruise and Lustre » (2015) ;Kadist Foundation Paris Comot your Eyes Make I borrow you Mine (2015) ; Diaspore, 14 Rooms Basel, Switzerland, (2014) ; In Pursuit of Bling, 8th Berlin Biennale, Berlin, Germany (2014) ; Glimmer Fragments Symposium "Landing and confessions", Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (2014) ; Sharjah Biennial 11, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, (2013) ; Across the Board: Politics of Representation, Tate Modern, The Tanks, London, United Kingdom (2012) ; Inventing world: The Artist as citizen, Biennale Benin, Cotonou, Benin (2012) ; Tropicomania: The Social life of Plants, Betonsalon, Center of art and research. Associated venue of La Triennale 2012 - Intense Proximity. Paris, France (2012) ; Object Atlas - Fieldwork in the Museum, Weltkulturen Museum, Frankfurt-am-Main, Germany (2012) ; ARS 11, Kiasma Museum of Contempoarary Art, Helsinki, Finland (2011).
Text by Philippe Pirotte
Born in the northern Nigerian town of Kano and currently based in Antwerp, Otobong Nkanga's drawings, installations, photographs and sculptures variously examine ideas around land and the value connected to natural resources
In the work of Nigerian artist Otobong Nkanga, activities and performance permeate all kinds of media and motivate photography, drawing, painting, sculpture, installation and video, though all the different works are thematically connected through architecture and landscape. As a human trace that testifies of ways of living and environmental issues, architecture and landscape act as a sounding board for narration and the performative. According to the artist herself, she uses her body and voice in live performances or in videos to become the protagonist in her work. However, her presence serves mostly as a self-effacing catalyst, an invisible hand that sets the artistic process in motion.
In this sense, the artist's presence is reminiscent of the self-portraits that Velazquez or Goya included in their bigger history paintings, which exposed the making of the artwork and created an image within an image.
Born in Nigeria and living in Antwerp, Belgium, Nkanga negotiates the completion of the cycle of art between the aesthetic realm of display and a strategy of desublimation that repeatedly pushes the status of the artwork into contingency. In his text about African conceptualism, Okwui Enwezor connected the latter strategy to African traditions. Within a fluid system of exchanges and relationships between object, artist and au- dience, the object is important. When it comes to intention and meaning, however, the object paradoxically functions as an anti-perceptual entity, valuing or mobilising speech and oral communication.
An important project in relation to Nkangas ongoing examination of landscape and the value connected to natural resources beyond their marketability and immediate use was her "re-invention" of "Baggage" (2007-08), a 1972 happening originated by the Ameri- can artist Allan Kaprow. In 1972, Kaprow, along with 20 students from Rice University in Houston, transported bags of sand from a campus construction site to a beach in Galveston, where they evacuated the bags contents and returned with sea sand. The action took place without an audience and the presentation of documentation was the only way in which the happening was translated to an art public. "Baggage" was one of many happenings conducted by Kaprow dealing with the displacement of goods from one place to another. In some of these happenings Kaprow paid attention to the differences in earth colour across America, and the strong contrast he observed when they met.
When Nkanga restaged "Baggage" (2007-08), the (art-historical) notion of "landscape" would take on an importance only vaguely understood in Kaprow's original version. packaged sand from the Netherlands was sent to Lagos and in return sand from Nigeria's Delta region was sent back to the Netherlands. By taking Dutch sand to the dramatically changing landscape of Nigeria, a country rich in oil, Nkanga strongly emphasises the notion of displacement between both continents. In the process, the artist re-politicised Kaprow's original happening. Although it is self- evident that the context of air travel, for both people and goods, has changed dramatically since 1972, the artist did not want to delve directly or too explicitly into the obvious political issues that are connected to the displacement of commodities today. She rather wanted to render a changing landscape hardly visible in a world today where products are transported from one continent to another and where the origins of products (raw materials) have gone through different transformations. As the artist explained in a conversation in August 2008, this work could be a metaphor of a situation where we see "displacement" in a broader context, as not only to the movement of goods, but also human displacement.
In many of her works Nkanga reflects metonymically on the use and cultural value connected to natural resources. Featured on the Studio museum's 2008 exhibition "Flow", her photographic diptych "Alterscapes" (2006) shows the artist as a demiurge, spilling an undefined blue liquid on a landscape. "Contained measures of Tangible memories" (2009), a more recent installation, features two duplicate mobile plinths on top of which the artist has placed five bowls containing mica, black soap, cassia fistula, indigo dye and alum, natural materials that are available in both morocco and Nigeria, but used in completely different ways. The work, shown on the 2009 Arts in marrakech biennial, explores how meaning and function are relative within cultures, and reveals different roles and histories for the same products, particularly within the context of the artist's autobiography and memories. Connected to the domain of art, perversity lingers in the idea that exploitation is fundamental to culture when culture is defined as the adaptation of natural resources towards human ends. Nkanga refrains from entering the realm of the perverse by only creating a vehicle for showing and transporting the resources, she does not make a new product out of them. (She repeated this strategy in her work "Contained measures of Fragments pointe Noire" (2009), which focuses on the specific colours of earth found in pointe Noire, Congo; bags of sand were pierced during the opening of the exhibi- tion and slowly spilled out to shape a new landscape within the installation.)
Nkanga's various photographic works evidence a more documentary approach to the interrogation of the implications of human acts and their effects on varied environments and contexts. In her series "Dolphin Estate" (2008), she photographed a Lagos housing estate that controversially employed prefabricated building techniques. Completed in 1992, Dolphin Estate has," explains the artist, "gradually fallen into a state of disrepair leaving the residents to take care for their daily needs such as water, electricity and deal with flooding problems". Nkanga's photographs show the results and conditions of a long lost dream. The American- sounding name of the housing estate, which comprises two-and three-bedroom flats and four-bedroom duplexes, suggests a suburban utopia, but in reality the buildings are often inadequately equipped. Dwellings are often improvised and added to. Nkanga's photographs show these makeshift alterations, which include large, vividly coloured water tanks precariously installed outside.
On a meta-level "Dolphin Estates" seems to tackle the moral questions connected to the aesthetics of non-architecture and the originality that animates parallel urbanity, as a source of inspiration for artists and archi-tects. Again, as in other works, it is a question that revolves around the paradoxes of exploitation.
Nkanga's 2005 - 06 series of drawings, "Delta Stories", hover between a personal and a universal account of the resource-driven conflicts in the Niger Delta where the local population considers the exploitation of nature as a source of environmental problems and destruction. The positivistic classification of natural things, through observation, measurement and the application of purely quantitative methods, is considered to disrupt our rela- tionship to them and encourage the undesirable attitude that they are nothing more than things to be probed, consumed and dominated. The crisis in the Delta arose in the early 1990s over tensions between foreign oil corporations and a number of the region's minority ethnic groups. Competition for oil wealth, which forms part of an ongoing "scramble for Africa", has fuelled most of the violence, but the conflict is also symptomatic of a clash of opposing world-views. Some drawings resemble topographical maps punctuated by pins (standing for oil wells ?) indexing territorial occupation, although they also indirectly remind one of an animal skin, as a trophy to be taken. The level of abstraction brings to mind the legacy of colonial mapping; at the same time the distanced view invokes the positivism of science and technology, which not only removes our fear of nature, by promising limitless knowledge and power, but also destroys our sense of awe and wonder towards it.
Nkanga's "Delta Stories" (2005 / 06), and related drawing projects, like the "pointe Noire Fragments" (2009) or "Social Consequences I and II" (both 2009), form a meditation on the exploitation of natural resources in a mostly allegorical way. One of the most interesting principles in the artist's drawing method, which I would call a type of organic animation, is that she uses a part of the drawing or an entire sheet to test the colours to be used, these dots appear in a cluster in the top left corner and form a patchwork suffused with everything that comes out of it. It seems as if the drawings set themselves in motion, a characteristic which is most obvious
in "Social Consequences II", a six-page acrylic drawing where the patches give birth to a complete machinery ("The overload"), including corporate buildings with needles that threaten human silhouettes ("projectiles"), which in turn are occupied with an observation device ("piercing pressure"), directly connected to a mechanical apparatus ("hostage") moving disembodied arms extracting resources from the soil ("Wastescape"), and in the end piercing wells that spoil water ("The overflow"). Covering the wide range of changes from human value creation to corporate value extraction, the representations of actions in a narrative, equated with the meanings that lie outside the narrative itself, hint "ex negativo" to the corporate world, which achieved monopoly control, prohibiting locals by law from competing against corporations in extracting resources or selling them goods. 
In his later work, German philosopher Theodor Adorno advocated an aesthetic attitude of "sensuous immediacy" towards nature. Adorno borrows the term, which he considers the defining characteristic of art, from Hegel's "Aesthetics" (1885). In his own "Aesthetic Theory"(2004) Adorno considers "the sensuous" as part of aesthetic understanding, which is considered a resistant quality against quantification or a quality that remains after the violence of naming and categorising. Aesthetic understanding makes note of the sensuous, the non-rational, that is
so often dismissed as merely irrational and that cannot be exhausted by rational codification. This means an acknowledgement of the possibilities to be directly and spontaneously acquainted with nature without interventions of our rational faculties. Adorno refers to the "excess" in works of art, something more than their mere materiality and exchange value, which is akin to natural things, and should therefore be able to re- enchant the world through aesthetic experience, which would at the same time be a re-enchantment of lives and purposes. 
Otobong Nkanga acknowledges this in her work, but at the same time expresses scepticism. In her recent sculpture, "The Operation" (2008), which Nkanga showed as a part of her "Contained Measures" installation in Las Palmas, she suspended the root of an orange tree from a wall in the Casa Africa gallery. Decorated with Tillandsia plants, the severed root was pierced with long stainless steel needles. A key gesture in Nkanga's work, the piercing was done with scientific precision.
1. Okwui Enwezor, "Where, What, Who, When: A Few Notes on African Conceptualism", in: Global Conceptualism: points of origin, 1950s - 1980s, (New York: Queens museum of Art, 1999), p.110.
2. It is in the nature of the time- and performance-related work of American artist Allan Kaprow that, in principle, a happening - or an "activity" as he called his work later on - cannot be repeated. Nevertheless, Kaprow himself re-enacted a large number of pieces on several occasions. In the 1980s he made the first "re-inventions", often with surprisingly changed ingredients and outcome. According to Kaprow activities and happenings do not grow old over the years; it is not nostalgic to repeat works but rather a challenge to adapt them to the moment, to the issues and themes, maybe even the fashion of today - as long as the "central metaphor", as he called it, was maintained. By this the works stay contemporary, comparable to the transmissions of content in oral history. See: philippe pirotte, - participation. A Legacy of Allan Kaprow -, in An Invention of Allan Kaprow for the moment, philippe pirotte (Kunsthalle Bern, 2009), p.9.
3. See paola Berenstein Jacques, Esthetique des Favelas, L'harmattan, paris, 2002
4. The corporation, as a virtual entity, mediates all lateral contact between people or small companies and businesses, and it redirects all created value to a select group of investors. According to artist Walead Beshty, corporations are a multitude of voices congealed into a singular entity, a transcription of an ephemeral set of compromises and competing agendas given a unified voice. Beshty further notes Gilles Deleuze's characterisation of the corporation as a spirit and wonders what it means for that ghost to speak. Like most innovations of the colonial era persisting in postcolonial times, that ghost extracts value from the so-called periphery and brings
it back to the so-called centre. See Walead Beshty, "American Ingenuity (And the Failure of the Readymade)", in Afterall magazine No. 17 (Antwerp, London, Los Angeles, 2008), p.23.
5. Some students of Adorno's work have recently argued that his account of the role of "sensuous immediacy" can be understood as an attempt to defend a "legitimate anthropomorphism" that comes close to a weak form of animism. See Jay Bernstein, Adorno: Disenchantment and Ethics (Cambridge: Cambridge University press, 2001), p.196.
Otobong Nkanga: To Dig a Hole that Collapses Again, MCA - Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, US
The Breath From Fertile Grounds, Temple Bar Gallery + Studios, Dublin, IR
The encounter that took a part of me, Kunstal Aarhus, DK
Cracks Around The Corner, IN SITU - fabienne leclerc, Paris, FR
Landversation Beirut, Beirut Art Center, Beirtu, LB
Transhistory, Museum Arnhem, Arnhem, NL
The Encounter That Took a Part of Me, Nottingham Contemporary, Nottingham, UK
Comot Your eyes make a borrow you mine, Kadist Foundation, Paris, FR
Crumbling Through Powdery Air, Portikus, Frankfurt, DE
Unisono 28 : Otobong Nkanga - Taste of a stone, Stedelijk Museum Schiedam, Schiedam, NL
Bruises and Lustre, M HKA, Anvers Museum, Antwerp, BE
Tracing confessions, Museum Folkwang, Essen, DE
Glimmer: Fragments in Landings: Confrontation and Confession, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Holland
Diaspore, Live performance at 14 Rooms, Basel, CH
Across the Board: Politics of Representation, performance and installation piece Contained Measures of Shifting States, Tate Modern, The Tanks, London, UK
However Long the Night, The Dawn Will Break, Lumen Travo Gallery, Amsterdam, NL
Contained Measures of Tangible Memories: Indigo Regina, L'appartement 22, Rabat, MA
The Western Syndrome, (with Pirkle Jones), La Bank Gallery, Paris, FR
No Be Today Story O!, Lumen Travo Gallery, Amsterdam, NL
L'edition Populaire #1, Vitrine Gallery, Anvers, BE
Pointe Noire Fragments, Centre Culturel Français, Pointe-Noire, CG
Diagonal Views, Nieuwe Vide, Haarlem, NL
Smokescreen, Fokus 2, (avec Jens Haaning), Kunstverein Springhornhof, Neuenkirchen, DE
On Fragile Grounds, Window Gallery and Objectif_exhibitions "CLOSE READING #3", Anvers, BE
Classicism & Beyond, Fotofest 2002, Project Row Houses, Houston, Texas, US
GENERAL REHEARSAL, A show in three acts from the collections of V-A-C, MMOMA and KADIST, Moscow Museum of Modern Art, Moscow, RU
Blind Faith : Between the Visceral and the Cognitive in Contemporary Art, Haus der Kunst, Munich, DE
Ouvert La Nuit, Villa Medicis, Rome, IT
Kaleidoscope: Its Me to the World, Modern Art Oxford, UK
Life Itself, Moderna Museet, Stockholm, SE
Gwangju Bienniale, KR
EVA International, Ireland's Biennial, IR
ON/OFF, Centre Pompidou, Paris, FR
Biennale de Sydney, AU
Streamlines, Oceans, Global Trades and Migration, Kulturstiftung-des-bundes, Hamburg, DE
El Iris de Lucy, MUSAC MUSEUM, Castilla y Léon, ES
La vie moderne, 13e Biennale de Lyon, FR
Take me (I am Yours) La Monnaie de Paris, FR
Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum - Michigan State University, US
Biennale de São Paulo, Brazil, BR
Diaspore, 14 Rooms, Basel, CH
8th Berlin Biennale, DE
Animism, Ashkal Alwan/Home Workspace, Beirut, LB
Foreign Exchange/Ware & Wissen (or the stories you wouldn't tell a stranger), Weltkulturen Museum, Frankfurt-am-Main, DE
Don't/Panic, Durban Art Gallery, Durban, ZA
Connect, exposition collective avec Rijksakademie Alumni, Lumen Travo Gallery, Amsterdam, NL
The Altered Landscape, Photographs of a Changing Environment, Nevada Museum of Art, Reno, Nevada, US
MarklinWorld, Kunsthalle KAdE, Amersfoort, NL
The Collectors Show, Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, NL
L'inattendu du Tout Monde, Un Hommage a Goddy Leye, L'appartement 22, Rabat, invited by Art-O-Rama, Marseille, FR
All We Ever Wanted, Center of Contemporary Arts, Lagos, NG
Summer Show, Lumen Travo Gallery, Amsterdam, NL
Outre Mesures et Programmes Radio (Maps, Timelines, Radio Programmes), La Galerie Contemporary Art Center, Noisy-le-Sec, FR
Faites Comme Chez Vous, Raw Material Company, A center for art, knowledge and society, Dakar, SG
ARS 11, Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki, FI
Africa, Objects and Subjects, Centro de Expositiones Fernan Gomez, Madrid, ES
Sentences on the Banks and Other Activities, Darat al Funun, Amman, JD
World Festival of Black Arts and Culture, Dakar, SG
Body Language, Lumen Travo Gallery, Amsterdam, NL
Make Yourself at Home, Kunsthal Charlottenbourg, Copenhagen, DK
CommonGround, Nieuw Dakota, Amsterdam, NL
Animism, Kunsthalle Bern, Bern, CH
Une Aiguille dans une Botte de Foin, Printemps des Poètes, Museédu Quai Branly, Paris, FR
Animism, Extra City Kunsthal and M HKA Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst, Anvers, BG
Sentences on the Banks and Other Activities, Darat al Funun, Amman, JD
World Festival of Black Arts and Culture, Dakar, SG
Body Language, Lumen Travo Gallery, Amsterdam, NL
The Production of Space, The Studio Museum Harlem, New York, US
Unfixed, CBK (Center for Contemporary Arts Dordrecht), Dordrecht, The Netherlands.
There Is Always A Cup Of Sea To Sail In, 29th Biennial of Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, BR
Make Yourself at Home, Kunsthal Charlottenbourg, Copenhagen, DK
Africa, Objects and Subjects, Palacio Revillagigedo, Gijon, ES
A Proposal For Articulating Works and Places (Part 2), Riso Museo d'Arte Contemporanea della Sicilia, Palermo, IT
Whose Map Is It? INIVA (Institute of International Visual Arts), Rivington Place, London, UK
Common Ground, Nieuw Dakota, Amsterdam, NL
Animism, Kunsthalle Bern, Bern, CH
Une Aiguille dans une Botte de Foin, Printemps des Poètes, Museé du Quai Branly, Paris, FR
Animism, Extra City Kunsthal and M HKA Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst, Antwerp, BE
A Delicate Touch, Watercolors from the Permanent Collection, The Studio Museum Harlem, New York, US
AIM International Biennale 3rd Edition, Marrakech, MA
Autres Mesures, Curator Cécile Bourne-Farrell, Centre Photographique Ile de France, Pontault-Combault, FR
This is Now 2, L'Appartement 22, Rabat, MR
Re/Presentaciones: Ellas, Casa Africa, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Canary Island, ES
This is Now 1, L'appartement22, Rabat, invited to the 1st Johannesburg Art Fair, ZA
Delight, Arti et Amicitiae, Amsterdam, NL
Flow, The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, US
Snap Judgments, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, NL
Snap Judgments, Brooks Museum of Arts, Memphis, US
Africa Remix, Contemporary Art of a Continent, Johannesburg Art Gallery, Johannesburg, ZA
Simmels Gelijk, Over het IJ Festival, Amsterdam, NL
Allan Kaprow, Kunst Als Leben, Kunsthalle Bern, CH
Snap Judgments, The National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, CA
Snap Judgments, Tamayo Museum, Mexico city, MX
1st Architecture, Art & Landscape Biennial of the Canaries, Canary Islands, ES
Snap Judgments, Miami Art Central, Miami, US
De Grote Oversteek, Stedelijk Museum, Zwolle, NL
Shared History/Decolonising the Image, Arti et Amicitiae, Amsterdam, NL
Generique, Galerie 14, Paris, FR
There & Back, La Casa Encendida, Madrid, ES
One Game - Many Worlds, Football in inter-cultural comparison, Münchner Stadtmuseum. Munich, DE
Snap Judgments, International Center of Photography, New York, US
Africa Remix, Zeitgenössische Kunst eines Kontinents, Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, JP
Belonging, Sharjah International Biennial 7, Sharjah, AE
North /South Lab, Tanzquartier, Vienna, AT
Africa Remix, Zeitgenössische Kunst eines Kontinents, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, FR
Africa Remix, Zeitgenössische Kunst eines Kontinents, Hayward Gallery, London, UK
Flying Circus Project, TheatreWorks Ltd, Singapore, CN
Do You Believe in Reality?, Taipei Biennial, TW
Free Territory, 26th Sao Paulo biennial, Sao Paulo, BR
Flash Right, Turn Left, Artwalk, Amsterdam, NL
Africa Remix, Zeitgenössische Kunst eines Kontinents Museum Kunst Palast, Düsseldorf, DE
Women Artist, No 4, Peter Hermann Gallery, Berlin, DE
Epifyten, De Klassieke Hortus als Voedingsbodem voor Hedendaagse Kunst, Hortus Botanicus, Amsterdam, NL
El Arte Con La Vida, VIII Biennale de la Habana, Havana, CU
MIP, International Performance Manifestation, CEIA, Belo Horizonte, BR
Transferts, Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels, BE
Shift and Wait, Collaborative work with Le Petit Jaunais Edition House. Maison de la Loire, Paris, FR
Awaiting Pleasures, Open Ateliers, Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten, Amsterdam, NL
Classicism & Beyond, Fotofest, Project Row Houses, Houston, Texas, US
Observatorio # 3, Casa Camouflage, Bruxelles, BE
Dak-Art, 5th Biennale of African Contemporary Art, Dakar, SG
Rond Point, La Halle de Gombe, Kinshasa, CG
Observatorio # 1, Casa Camouflage, Brussels, BE
Made In Africa Fotografia, Biennale di Fotografia Africana/ Sparzio Oberdan, Milan, IT
En Direct De Bamako, Galerie Photo Fnac Etoile, Paris, FR
Dessins XXL, Le Lieu Unique, Nantes, FR
Memoires Intimes D'un Nouveau Millenaire, IV Biennale de la Photographie Africaine, Bamako, ML
Infamous Labels No 10, Bateau Phare collaborating with The Research program, ENSBA, Paris, FR
Diaoptasia, BMW Tate Live : Performance Room, TATE MODERN, Londres, UK
Take Me I'm Yours, Monnaie de Paris, Paris, FR
Diaspore, 14 Rooms, Art Basel, Bâle, CH
Glimmer: Fragments, Landing Symposium: Confrontation and Confessions, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, NL
Glimmer: Aurum. Das Jubiläumsfestival, 50 years of the Berliner Künstlerprogramm des DAAD, 1963 - 2013, Berlin, DE
Glimmer, Berliner Herbstsalon, Maxim Gorki theatre, Berlin, Germany.
Face me, I Face you, Berliner Herbstsalon, Maxim Gorki theatre, Berlin, DE
Where Gist you, (avec Eunhye Hwang), Berliner Herbstsalon, Maxim Gorki theatre, Berlin, DE
When all things flow, the bird sings, FF Temporary Autonomous Zone, Berlin, DE
Taste of a Stone: Itiat Esa Ufok, Sharjah Biennial 11, Sharjah, AE
Contained Measures of Shifting States, Across the Board: Politics of Representation, Tate Modern, The Tanks, Londres, UK
Sing, I will tell you who we be, Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam, NL
Contained Measures of a Kolanut, Tropicomania: The Social Life of Plants, Betonsalon, Center of Art and Research. Associated venue of La Triennale 2012 - Intense Proximity. Paris, FR
Baggage 1972 - 2007-08, Allan Kaprow/Otobong Nkanga, Partitions (Performances), Fondation d'entreprise Ricard, Paris, FR
A Song for the Moment, Brussels living room Festival, Bruxelles, BR
Baggage 1972 - 2007-08, Allan Kaprow/Otobong Nkanga, Festival Theatreformen, Braunschweig, DE
Tropicology, Nieuw Dakota, Amsterdam, NL
Things, Carla Mittersteig, Vienna, AT
Baggage 1972 - 2007-08, Allan Kaprow/Otobong Nkanga, Arco Art Fair, Madrid, ES
Baggage 1972 - 2007-08, Allan Kaprow/Otobong Nkanga, Kunsthalle Bern, CH
Baggage 1972 - 2007-08, Allan Kaprow/Otobong Nkanga, De Appel, Amsterdam, NL
Arrested Moment before the State of Amnesia Crops in, 1st Architecture, Art & Landscape Biennial of the Canaries, ES
Unravelling, Arti et Amicitiae and the Muiderpoort Theatre, Amsterdam, NL
Dream in One Meter Square, Belonging, Sharjah International Biennial 7, Sharjah, AE
Surgical Hits #03, (The Needle), Tanzquartier, Vienna, AT
Surgical Hits #02, (The Needle), Theatre Works Ltd, Singapore, CN
Surgical Hits #01, (The Needle), Kunst Palast Museum, Düsseldorf, DE
On fragile grounds, Window Gallery and Objectif_Exhibitions as part of "Close Reading #3", Anvers, BG
Fractured Gaps, Group performance involving 6 dancers, Open Ateliers, Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam, NL
Shift and Wait, International Performance Manifestation, CEIA, Belo Horizonte, Brazil.
State of Amnesia, International Performance Manifestation, CEIA, Belo Horizonte, BR
Perfect Measures, Transferts, Palais des Beaux-Arts, Bruxelles, BG
Sustained Suture, Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten, NL
The new acquisition of Jennifer McBright, Classicism & Beyond, Fotofest 2002, Project Row Houses, Houston, Texas, US
Bomboyi, Ecole des Beaux-Arts Kinshasa, Chooseone Organisation, Paris, Rond Point, La Halle de Gombe, Kinshasa, CG
The Dual Match, (Footpitch), TOXIC, Chateau d'Oiron, Oiron, FR
Yanghyun Prize, 2015
Shifting States- Platforms for Experimentation, Dutch Art Institute, DAI, Master program of ArtEZ, Arnhem, NL
Voice? Creature of Transition, Lecture performance, Studium Generale Rietveld Academie, Amsterdam, NL
Hans Ulrich Obrist in converstion with Otobong Nkanga, 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair, London, UK
Facing the Opponen, Fieldwork at the Weltkulturen Museum Frankfurt, DE Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz, Max Planck Institut, Florence, IT
Artist Talk: with Otobong Nkanga, Institut für Raumexperimente, Universität der Künste Berlin, Berlin, DE
Art Basel Salon, The Global Artworld, Focus Africa, Basel, CH
Think-Tank II: Persecuted, Mourned, Pitied, Admired/Collected and Photographed, Weltkulturen Museum, Frankfurt, DE
Art as a meeting point, with Andrea Buddensieg, Otobong Nkanga and Joanna Warsza, discussion organized by Antje Majewski, FF Temporary Autonomous Zone, Berlin, DE
Sharjah Biennial 11 panel discussion with Hoor-Al-Qasimi, Yuko Hasegawa and Otobong Nkanga, Sharjah, UAE.
Think-Tank I: The administration of people and goods, Weltkulturen Museum, Frankfurt, DE
The Impossible Aesthetic: Situating Research in Arts and Social Sciences/Humanities, Artistic Research and Museum, Collections, Lessons from the Weltkulturen Museum, Frankfurt, Zentrum Moderner Orient, Berlin, DE
Otobong Nkanga with Catherine Wood, Part of the series The Tanks: Art in Action, London, UK
Permeabilities, Presentation of works and workshop with participants at CEIA, 8th international event, Belo Horizonte, BR
When the stage hits you, workshop with the Dutch Art Institute students, DAI, Master program of ArtEZ, Arnhem, NL
Art-iculate: A performative lecture by Otobong Nkanga, CCA, Lagos, NG
Tracks and traces of violences conferences, Lecture Performance by Otobong Nkanga, The University of Bayreuth, (BIGSAS), DE
Clark-Mellon Workshop: International Initiatives and Regional Collaboration, The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts, US
6000 Collectors, Experimental Talks with Objects, Lecture by Otobong Nkanga, Weltkulturen Museum, Frankfurt am Main, DE
Presentation of project at Outre Mesures et Programmes Radio (Maps, Timelines,Radio Programmes), La Galerie Contemporary Art Center, Noisy-le-Sec, FR
Workshop and project, Intituto Buena Bista, Curacao Center for Contemporary Arts, Residency Program, Curacao, NL
Workshop Unfixed, Photography and postcolonial perspectives in contemporary art, CBK Dordrecht, NL
Memory as a photographic process, presentation at Unfixed Symposium, CBK Dordrecht, NL
Otobong Nkanga's works on Land and Mapping, presentation at Crossing Boundaries Symposium, Royal Geographical Society, London, UK
Presentation of works in Whose Map Is It?, INIVA (Institute of International Visual Arts), Rivington Place, London, UK
Artist talk at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam, NL
Workshop and project with the students of Haute École d'Art et de Design, Geneva, CH
Lecture and Workshop State of Bodies/ Suffering, Mieke van de Voort, Generale Staten and Game/Performance. Utrecht, NL
Discussion and round table at Foam Fotografie Museum, Amsterdam, NL
Studio Visits, Masters Programme, Dutch Art Institute (DAI), Enschede, NL
Seminar on African literature, Casa Encendida, Madrid, ES
Clementine Deliss et Yvette Mutumba. Foreign Exchange/Ware & Wissen (or the stories you wouldn't tell a stranger). Diaphanes, 2014. p. 101 - 102, 118, 133, 140, 150, 162 - 163, 290.
Earth Matters: Land as Material and Metaphor in the Arts of Africa, National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian, 2013. p. 178 - 180.
Ja Natuurlijk/Yes Naturally : How art saves the world, Neit Normaal Foundation, Nai010 publishers, 2013. p. 88 -91
Play! Recapturing the Radical Imagination, Göteborg International Biennial of Contemporary Art, 2013. p. 90 - 91.
Sharjah Biennial 11. Re: Emerge Towards a New Cultural Cartography, 2013. p. 436 - 439.
Anselm Franke. Animism, 2013. p. 120 - 121.
Tropicomania, La vie sociale des plantes. Centre d'Art et de Recherche, 2012. p. 15.
Clementine Deliss, Object Atlas-Fieldwork in the Museum, Weltkulturen Museum, Kerber Forum, p. 153-197.
29th Biennial of Sao Paulo, 2010. p. 194-195.
Kunsthal Charlottenbourg Make Yourself at Home. 2010. p. 54-58, 98-99.
Africa. Objetos y Sujeto. Cajastur, 2010. p. 286-287.
Africa, Objects and Subjects. Palacio Revillagigedo, Gijon, Spain, 2010. p. 286-287.
Flow, The Studio Museum Harlem, 2008. p. 94-95.
MIP, International performance manifestation CEIA, p. 132-133, 164-165.
Belonging, 7th Sharjah Biennial, p. 354-357.
Território Livre, 26th Sao Paulo Biennial, national representations, 2004. p. 238-239.
Transferts, Brussels, 2003. page 138-143,
El arte con la vida. 8th Bienal de la Habana, 2003. p. 168, 329.
Classicism & Beyond, Fotofest, 9th International Biennal of Photography, p. 176-179.
Dak'Art, V Biennale of African Contemporary Art, p. 50.
Michela Manservisi (curator).Made in Africa_fotografia. Epicentro, Italy, 2002. p. 78-79.
Dessins XXL. Filigranes, 2002.
Akinbode Akinbiyi. Memoires Intimes d'un Nouveau Millenaire. IV Biennale de la Photographie Africaine, Bamako, Mali, 2001 p. 140-149.
Press & Books
Zur Kunst. Susanne Leeb . Asynchronous Objects, Globalismus Globalism, Sep. 2013. p. 48, 52 - 53, 56.
Elvira Dyangani Ose." Across the Board: Otobong Nkanga and Nástio Mosquito". Atlántica #53. Journal of Art and Though, 2013. p. 142-149.
Jan-Philipp Possmann, "Jenseits der Vitrine/Beyond the Vitrine", Spike Art Magazine No 35, 2013. p. 50, 53.
Dorina Hecht. "Mich interessiert das wo, was und warum". Artmap Antwerpen, Winter 2012/13. p. 28-29.
Dagmar Mundhenke. "Object Atlas - Feldforshung im Frankfurter Weltkulturen-Museum". Africa Positive N° 45, 2012. p. 42.
Catherine Wood. "Re-make, Re-model" Frieze Masters, No 1, 2012. p. 38-39.
Sara Blokland and Asmara Pelupessy. Unfixed, Photography and postcolonial perspectives in contemporary art. Unfixed projects Japsam books, 2013. p. 48-53 et p. 202-204.
MärklinWorld : A model of the world by 40 artists, exhibition catalogue, KA Series 14, Kunsthal KAdE, p.123.
Altered Landscape : Photographs of a changing environment. Collection of the Nevada Museum of Art, ed. Ann M. Wolfe, Skira Rizzoli publications Inc., p. 56-57.
Social Consequences, de Philippe Pirotte, in: Art South Africa, Volume 09, Issue 01, Spring 2010, p. 66-69.
Okwui Enwezor & Chika Okeke-Agulu.Contemporary African Art since 1980. 2010. p. 280, 327.
Animism. Anselm Franke Volume I, 2010. p. 211-212.
An intervention of Allan Kaprow for the moment, documentation of all Re-Interventions and Re-enactments of Happenings and Environments, Kunsthalle Bern.
Foam Album 08, 2nd Edition, p. 184.
Kunstbeeld.nl Magazine, Het tijdschrift voor beeldende kunst, Nr 9 2009, p. 16-17.
Sean O'Toole. Frieze Magazine, Issue 116, Jun-Aug. 2008.
Le Monde Diplomatique,: 55e année - N° 653, Aug 2008 , p. 25.
Vincent Solomon. "Seeing Africa through African eyes". Amsterdam Weekly, 17-30th Jul. 2008. p. 10.
ZAM Magazine, Africa Magazine, no. 2, Summer 2008. p. 20-21.
"New Talents". Blend NL Magazine n°31, July. 2008. p. 55.
1st Architecture, Art & Landscape Biennial of the Canaries, Canary Island, 2006. p. 256-257.
Okwui Enwezor. Snap Judgements, New positions in contemporary African Photography. 2006. p. 34, 160-165, 367.
Zonder internationale uitwisseling geen kunst; De Stelling, een gesprek met Otobong Nkanga, by Saskia Monshouwer, in: Kunstbeeld, no. 9, p. 48-49.
Africa Remix, Zeitgenössische kunst eines kontinents, Museum Kunst Palast, p. 214-215.
Shifting Map, Artists' platform and strategies for cultural diversity, RAIN Artists' Initiatives Network, Nai publishers Rotterdam, p. 46.
Epifyten, de klassieke hortus als voedingsbodem voor hedendaagse kunst!, Hortus Botanicus Amsterdam, p. 19-21.
Flash Art, Nov - Dec. 2003. p. 88.
Christine Vuegen. "Mondiale Maalstroom". Kunstbeeld, n° 6, 2003. p. 10-11.
Walter Sebastiao. "No Palco, Vitoria de Visibilade". Estada de Minas - Sexta Fiera, Brasil, 2003.
Lars Kwakkenbos. "Kunst met Afrikaanse roots". De Standard, Belgium, 2003.
Flash Art International, Vol. XXXIV no. 225,July - Sep 2002. p. 49, 59.
Simon Njami. Blink, 100 Photographers 10 Curators 10 Writers. Phaidon Press, London, 2002, p. 276-279.
Robbert Roos. "PF fotographie (BLINK)" . Magazine voor fotographie en imaging, n° 6, 2002. p. 16-18.
N'gone Fall. "Anthologie de l'Art African du vingtieme siècle". Revue Noire, 2001 , p. 396-397.
Telerama. n° 2702, 2001 p. 68-69.
Jean Loup Pivin. "Nigeria". Revue Noire. n° 30, Paris, 2001 . p. 38-39
Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and DelMonico?Prestel, February 2018
Portikus Sternberg Press, June 2017