Emeka Ogboh. Ámà: The Gathering Place
A Village Square in the Gropius Bau’s Atrium
20 October 2021 to 3 July 2022
Since October 2021, a site-specific installation by artist Emeka Ogboh has been occupying the Gropius Bau’s vast atrium, which is freely accessible without an entry price, welcoming all visitors to the very center of the building.
Titled Ámà: The Gathering Place (2019/2021), Ogboh’s intervention takes the form of a tree, over 9 metres high, and includes an accompanying 12-channel sound installation as well as textile elements. The work takes as a point of departure the “ámà”, or “village square” in Igbo. These sites are the physical and symbolic centres of life in Igbo society, spaces for gathering where ceremonies, entertainment, trade and everyday social exchange occur. Ámà: The Gathering Place takes inspiration from these sites and transforms the atrium into a space for respite and ritual, all amid the backdrop of recordings of an ensemble singing traditional Igbo folk songs addressing universal human concerns such as relationships, hope and mythical worldviews. In addition to sculptural and sound elements, viewers will be invited to spend time in this multisensory installation on traditional Akwétè cloths, designed by contemporary Nigerian graphic designers and traditional weavers, which will also cover the work’s central sculpture. The work is a demonstration of how semi-public spaces, from village squares to institutional open spaces, can be recuperated as sites of conviviality, care, celebration, reflection and exchange.
As part of the installation, together with the Berlin-based brewery BRLO, Emeka Ogboh has developed the conceptual craft beer Ámà, which includes local ingredients and herbs. The beer will be available from this autumn at the Beba Restaurant and the bookshop at the Gropius Bau.
To the Turkish translation of the introductory text.
About Emeka Ogboh
Emeka Ogboh is an artist whose practice engages with space, and public and private memory, through varying media including sound, sculpture and gastronomy. His interests lie in the interlinkage between communal, private and public culture and their reification through sound and food. He has recently presented works at Friche la Belle de Mai Marseille (2021), the Dresden’s Museum für Völkerkunde (2020), Kunstmuseum Ravensburg (2020), Museum Tinguely, Basel (2019) and Cleveland Museum of Art (2019), among others.