VISUAL ART AND CORRUPTION: “Harvest of Fear”

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Thank God its Friday. Now in addition to attending weddings, going out with friends, and all what not, one might also consider a brief stop at any art exhibition and stand a good chance of getting ambushed by a painting on canvass. An item of wisdom that has come down from the ancients is that no matter how complicated an idea may be, it can be expressed by a single still image. That has huge implications. Similarly, no matter how complicated the thoughts, stresses and emotions about public service, family and life picked up by a governor, minister or other public servant throughout the week, a brush with the output of some of Nigeria’s leading (and upcoming) visual artists holds that capacity to cause Relaxation, Reflection and a Reordering of thoughts and decisions critical to social development.

Now as the weekend groove takes off, we are sure many will not take off their thinking caps, dive into booze and maybe even succumb to snoozing on the booze (well at least not prematurely…hehehe). Nigeria is struggling with systemic under consumption of DEVELOPMENT INFORMATION partly occasioned by an imbalance in the consumption of ‘edutainment’ and ‘infotainment’ options. There seems to be too much home video, comedy and music in our menu of entertainment consumption on weekends (and weekdays) without that finishing touch of the still arts to modulate and integrate the consumption (as only the still arts can). In as much as credit must be extended to the astounding work and achievement of our entertainers in film and music, still the imbalance is worth adjusting.

For instance, credit must go to musical poets like Timaya for his single titled PITY FOR US where he strikes a strong and unique connection with the suffering masses. The song is directed at Nigerian politicians asking them to pity the masses and do the needful (especially curb and shut down corruption so true and holistic development can take place). Whatever pity the politicians choose to have will mean nothing if shutting down corruption is not part of the ‘pitiful’ deal. There are many wonderful visual constructions out there that carry Timaya’s theme into that truly unique expressive universe of the still arts where a chaos of agitations and movements come to much needed rest (and where also ‘static, uncreative’ rest takes on much needed movement).

And one of such works that carries this theme is HARVEST OF FEAR by Ugwu Bede Ifeanyi, as featured here in this Friday edition. This work won a French Embassy Prize in 2016. Who are the farmers and therefore harvesters of fear? This work therefore poses a question whose answer is crucial for the mental, cultural and spiritual development of those individuals and institutions who wish to ignore revolutionary movements against corruption such as the Open Government Partnership (OGP) of which Nigeria is a member. Harvest of Fear also poses an interesting test for impactful photographic construction. This work has been photographed from dozens of angles. The angle captured here is one of the most provocative where we see the foremost shape has all the imposing and intimidating presence of a druid. In a recent statement about Nigeria, IMF Spokesman Gerry Rice said “Urgency is needed in implementing a coherent and credible package of monetary, fiscal and structural policies as the window for bold reforms is closing as the 2019 elections are fast approaching.” Let the Harvest of Fear therefore end as quickly as possible. Hey lets keep talking on Facebook and catch you here on ThePageMagazine for our Monday piece to kick off the week with you. Please keep taking a page (or a couple of pages) out of ThePageMagazine.

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