Alagba in Limbo

Year: 1996
Materials: Steel, feathers, wood and mirrors
Housed: Sold

Alagba in Limbo this was made for ‘Copenhagen 96’. The idea behind this show was to put an art work in a sea container that would represent the port or country of origin of the artist.

At this time my home state in Nigeria was in conflict with the oil company Shell. Nine people were executed and were not given a fair hearing. I am still very shocked by this period in my countries history. I wanted to show our loss in Alagba in Limbo.

One can look up Alagba’s skirt as he/she is being carried in an undignified manner. The man wearing the Alagba costume had the chance to be a god but lost that chance because his gender has now been revealed. He has been reduced to a man pretending to be a female god whose costume does not cover his private parts. His legs are held uncomfortably and the people carrying him mainly turn away and you are not sure if the are wailing or singing but you know that there is discomfort; a state of limbo.

I wanted people to squeeze past the faces of the male figures as they entered the Alagba in Limbo container. These figures had confused expressions, not knowing if they should sing or cry. The figures are life size, which gives the sculpture a more confrontational feel. If only one could put one’s problems in a container and send them away. But I was glad of the chance to air my discomfort.

Currently Alagba in Limbo is exhibited free of its container.

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