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Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art opens a solo exhibition by Otobong Nkanga
Otobong Nkanga, The Weight of Scars, 2015. Installation view at MHKA, Antwerp, Belgium. Courtesy of the artist and Lumen Travo, Amsterdam, In Situ / Fabienne Leclerc, Paris and Mendes Wood DM, São Paulo, Brussels, New York. Photograph: Christine Clinckx - MHKA.

MIDDLESBROUGH .- Otobong Nkanga prompts us to think about our relationships to land and the extraction of the world’s natural resources. Her multi-disciplinary practice spans tapestries, drawings, photographs, installations, videos and performances. The exhibition, From Where I Stand on show at MIMA, Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art from 14 March to 28 June 2020, explores the politics of land and its relationship to the body, histories of land acquisition and exploitation.

Otobong Nkanga (born 1974 Kano, Nigeria) lives and works in Antwerp, Belgium and has over two decades experience of creating works that reflect on the processes and consequences of the extraction of natural resources from ethical, human and material perspectives. Nkanga received a Special Mention at the 58th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia and was awarded the 2015 Yanghyn prize and with Emeka Ogboh, the Sharjah Biennial 14 Prize and the 2017 Belgian Art Prize. In 2019, Nkanga was the recipient of the Ultimass-Flemish Prize for culture and the Lise Wilhelmsen Art Award Programme.

This major exhibition presents works Nkanga made between 2008 and 2019, including the bodies of work From Where I Stand, 2015; The Weight of Scars, 2015; In Pursuit of Bling, 2014 and Tsumeb Fragments, 2015.

Elinor Morgan, Head of Programme at MIMA comments: “It’s very exciting to exhibit Otobong Nkanga’s important work in Middlesbrough. Her observations of how humans shape and ultimately damage the world through the exploitation of human labour and land are shared through ten bodies of work that reflect on global capitalism and the extraction of precious minerals from natural environments. Nkanga opens up and makes accessible complex discussions through an expansive and careful approach to making.”

From Where I Stand is curated by Anne Barlow, Director Tate St Ives and organised by Tate St Ives in association with MIMA. This is the first UK museum survey of Nkanga’s work.

Nkanga has previously presented performance and installation works at Tate Modern in 2012 and 2015. She has exhibited widely internationally, with solo shows including: ‘A Lapse, a Stain, a Fall’, ar/ge kunst, Bolzano, Italy 2018; ‘To Dig A Hole That Collapses Again’, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago 2018; ‘Take Me (I’m Yours)’, Pirelli HangarBicocca, Milan 2017; and ‘The Breath from Fertile Grounds’, Temple Bar Gallery + Studios, Dublin, Ireland 2017. She has exhibited in recent group exhibitions including: Artes Mundi 8, National Museum Cardiff 2018; Manipulate the World, Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden 2017, as well as in documenta 14 and numerous biennials including Venice, Dakar, Lyon, Berlin, Gwangju, Sharjah, Göteborg, Havana, São Paulo and EVA International. Her 2020 exhibitions include solo shows at Gropius Bau, Berlin, 30 April – 2 August; and at Henie Onstad, Oslo, 13 November 2020 – 21 February 2021.

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