Oroma Elewa is a Nigerian-born American visual and performance artist, writer, and creative director living and working between New York and Lagos. With a varied practice encompassing performance art and film, digital media, photography, installation, drawing, and writing, Elewa's work explores socio-cultural constructs that inform transnational African cosmopolitan identity and black female experience, thought, and expression

Recent group exhibitions of Elewa's work include Burned Out at Le 18 in Marrakech, curated by Yvon Lange and Leila Hilda for the 5th DABAPHOTO in Morocco in 2019; Togethering, curated by artist Otobong Nkanga at In Situ - Fabienne Leclerc, Paris in 2022; artgenève 2022 in Geneva, presented by In Situ - Fabienne Leclerc; Currency at the Deichtorhallen in Hamburg in 2022 curated by Koyo Kouoh, Gabriella Beckhurst Feijoo, Rasha Salti and Oluremi C. Onabanjo for the 8th Triennial of Photography in Hamburg, Germany; Paris Par, Art Basel Paris in 2022 presented by In Situ - Fabienne Leclerc and Artissima 2022 in Turin, Italy where she won the Tosetti Value Prize for Photography.

Extract from a text by Sandrine Honliasso for the exhibition CORPORATE ASHAWO at Galerie In Situ - Fabienne Leclerc in 2023.


In 2023, Oroma Elewa presented her first solo exhibition: CORPORATE ASHAWO. The exhibition testifies to the cosmopolitanism of the artist ? whose issues she explores in her work - as it brings together, in Paris at the In Situ Fabienne Leclerc gallery, works in part from the series of performances Area Babes & Ashawo Superstars started 2019.

Showcasing photographic prints and compositions combining text and images, accompanied by installations, video and sound installations, the exhibition stages the conversation of a bunch of women, all avatars of the artist. Their shameless words as well as their physical expressions take part in a social satire that explores contemporary African femininity and its relationship with (the opposite) sex, class and power.

Welcomed by the series Tom Relax, the public is immediately seized by the assurance and outspokenness of a female character who stands proudly before it. ?Tom relax. If it was Dick I wanted I wouldn?t be dating you.? And does Tom reply?: ??? Where is Tom? He isn?t here. At least, we don?t see him but this does not matter to us since it (really) isn?t about him. In this fictional exchange to which we only have partial access, it is what SHE says that matter to us. Because what she says to him introduces us to the protagonist of this scene: her femininity (of a Black woman). ?Tom relax. You?re not as generous as you think.? It is to him that she speaks, but it is also to us as much as to him that she presents herself. It is us that she looks down on, from the height of her 1.70 meters. It is before us that she shows herself elegant, confident, rich, seductive, incredulous, annoyed but above all and always powerful.

Tom knows that she is. And perhaps it is for (all of) that he becomes flustered and needs to be reminded that first of all ?both of them know that she?s had better? and that ?if it was Dick [the man or the thing] that [she] wanted, [she] wouldn?t be dating [him]?. With the series Currency?s Dilemma, we witness conversations between women that are just as uninhibited. ?Babe, what about Joshua? How?s that going ? Honestly Babe, without the premature ejaculation he?s actually perfect.? ?I cannot pretend like you Veronica, I like money. Too much of it is never enough.?

Transcribed on large metal panels mixing a pop and retro aesthetic, like Warhol?s Marilyns, and the design of directions signs, these conversations are accounts intended to put into motion our conceptual and concrete relationships with the questions that they raise. Both series put the public in the presence of a fictional group of African women whose attitudes and sharp words, sometimes sounding like punchlines express a pragmatic approach to intimate relationships and their inextricableties with their socio-economic realities. Skeptical and determined, proud but also riddled with doubts, these women attempt as best they can, and together, to find the means of their fulfillment.

Solo shows :


Galerie In Situ - fabienne leclerc, Grand Paris, France

Group exhibitions :


Currency: Photography Beyond Capture, 8th edition of the Triennial of Photography Hamburg, Hamburg, DE
Togethering, featuring Oroma Elewa, Bill Kouélany, Obi Okigbo, Adeola Olagunju, Galerie In Situ - fabienne leclerc, Grand Paris

Awards :

Tosetti Value Prize, Artissima 2022, Turin, IT