Okwui Okpokwasili: You’re not the woman on the motorcycle in Faluyi, with the sparkly dress, driving down the road into the unknown with courage and bravery?
Ayo Akingbade: I could be her…
Show Me The World Mister is Ayo Akingbade’s first publication, developing work from her touring exhibition of the same name. Centring two films, The Fist and Faluyi, shot on location in Nigeria, the book builds on Akingbade’s cinematic interrogations of history and place, addressing interwoven histories of industrialisation and family.
Originally shot on 35mm film, The Fist is an intimate portrait of a modernist style factory – the first Guinness brewery built outside of Ireland and the UK, located in Nigeria, 12 miles from the centre of Lagos on the Ikeja Industrial Estate. Completed in 1962, in the wake of Nigeria’s independence from Britain, Akingbade aims to highlight the politics embedded in the beverage’s production, by focusing on the way the workers move in the factory. Faluyi follows protagonist Ife as she embarks on a meditative journey tracing familial legacy and mysticism within ancestral land. Shot on 16mm film in the Idanre Hills – a UNESCO World Heritage site in Ondo State, the birthplace of Akingbade’s parents – the film is an introspective contemplation of the artist’s own personal relationship with Nigeria, and her sense of the future.
Featuring diary entries, behind the scenes images from locations in Lagos and Idanre, as well as exhibition and installation views, Show Me The World Mister documents the processes and ideas behind Ayo Akingbade’s work. Written contributions by Steven Cairns, Maryam Kazeem, and Gboyega Odubanjo, expand upon and contextualise Akingbade’s practice. So, too, does a conversation between Akingbade and Okwui Okpokwasili.
Ayo Akingbade lives and works in London. She has exhibited and screened widely, including presentations at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London; Instituto Tomie Ohtake, Sao Pāulo; Towner Gallery, Eastbourne; amongst others. Recent screenings include; New Directors/New Films; MoMA and Directors’ Fortnight; Cannes Film Festival. Her first major solo institutional exhibition, Show Me The World Mister, opened at Chisenhale Gallery, London in November 2022 and is touring until 2024, at venues including Spike Island, Bristol and BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead.
This publication is co-published by Book Works and Chisenhale Gallery, with support from John Hansard Gallery and Ms. Ebele Okobi. Book Works and Chisenhale Gallery are National Portfolio Organisations of Arts Council England.