Exploring Lagos Studio Archives : Karl Ohiri’s conservational Impulse

British-Nigerian artist Karl Ohiri uses photography, performativity and idiosyncratic archival impulses to explore themes that deal with family, identity, cultural heritage and popular culture.

Karl Ohiri is influenced by a fascination with the human condition as this mediates between the self (autobiography) and otherness (society, current affairs and collective histories). These concerns have led to curated projects centred on the artist’s own family archive including Sweet Mother (2016) that deals with the artist coming to terms with his mother’s sudden death in 2012; My Granddad’s Car (2016), a collaborative project with the artist Sayed Hasan exploring migration, heritage and collective histories through the transportation of two old cars belonging to their grandfathers to the UK, and an earlier project Hybrid Lives (2011) a group exhibition featuring Ohiri and fellow artists Andrew Esiebo, Sayed Hasan, Riikka Kassinen and Yasuyo Miyake.

This interview, by Jareh Das, was published in partnership with The Art Momentum in July 2019.