Using sound, photography, and food respectively, artists Emeka Oghoh, Iké Udé, and Temitayo Ogunbiyi with chef Renèe Chuks question assumptions concerning culture, geography, and identity. By appealing to the senses, these artists urge audiences to remember and recognize the complexity inherent in representation; natural, spiritual, and social ecosystems; and the performances within everyday life.
Taste! is a platform for creative encounters centering on a multifaceted, far-reaching Lagos. Realized in collaboration with the Africa International Film Festival (AFRIFF), ART X Lagos, and the African Artists’ Foundation, Taste! is the foundation experience of 24 Hours of the Smithsonian in Lagos, the inaugural event that launches the National Museum of African Art’s new international presence.
Taste! Mystique by Iké Udé is a three-part art experience that includes a master class, an exhibition with interactive studio sets, and a tableau vivant living installation.
Taste! Mystique 1
On November 5, Iké Udé partnered with the African Artists’ Foundation to lead a master class for a group of emerging Lagos-based photographers. The young artists were tutored by Udé in his signature style—creating mystique at the intersection of harmony and the unexpected. Participants took portraits of Lagosian influencers positioned with evocative props.
Taste! Mystique 2
Alongside photographs from the master class, Udé presents two bespoke studio sets that reflect and disrupt distinct, cultural references from Lagos and beyond. The opulent sets offer visitors an opportunity to perform, take photographs, and commune. Within Udé’s compositions, participants can choose how to participate in personal negotiations of space and proximity.
Master Class Participants
Toyin Adedokun, Neec Nonso, Ismail Odetola, Temitope Ogungbamila, and David Shonowo
Taste! Mystique 3
The Taste! Mystique experience culminates in a living installation at the opening night party of the Africa International Film Festival. Guests of the festival’s opening celebration can become works of art by posing for photographs against another of Udé’s exuberant sets.
Iké Udé is a Nigerian-American conceptual artist who has been creating work that complicates notions of identity and perception since the 1990s. He uses photography to draw attention to how individuals portrayed in highly posed “performances” can reveal more truth than contrived poses that aim to be natural. Udé’s work is in the permanent collections of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, Sheldon Museum, RISD Museum, New Britain Museum of American Art, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, and many private collections. His forthcoming solo exhibition Iké Udé: Nollywood Portraits opens at the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art in Washington, D.C., in February 2022.