Zina Saro-Wiwa is a video artist and filmmaker. She makes video installations, documentaries, photographs, experimental films and curates exhibitions. Her work, inspired frequently though not exclusively by Nigerian life, often explores the relationship between performance and documentary, emotional landscapes. She often explores highly personal experiences, carefully recording their choreography, making tangible the space between internal experience and outward performance as well as bringing cross-cultural and environmental/geographic considerations to bear on these articulations. The slippery dynamics between “truth” , “reality” and “performance” lie at the heart of her video performance work. 

Saro-Wiwa’s work has been featured in many group exhibitions, including Disguise: Masks and Global African Art (Seattle Art Museum, 2015) and The Progress of Love (Menil Collection and Pulitzer Arts Foundation, 2012–13) and her first solo museum exhibition Did You Know We Taught Them How To Dance? debuted at Blaffer Art Museum in Houston Texas in September 2015. In 2016 her work screened at Tate Britain in the UK. In 2014, Saro-Wiwa founded Boys’ Quarters Project Space, a contemporary art gallery in Port Harcourt, Nigeria for which she curates up to three shows a year.

Her award-winning documentary, This Is My Africa (2009), which features interviewees Lupita Nyong’o, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Colin Firth, John Akomfrah, and Yinka Shonibare MBE, among others, was shown on HBO and was screened at Stevenson Gallery in Cape Town, October Gallery in London, the Newark Museum, the Brooklyn Museum, and many international film festivals. In 2010, for Location One Gallery in New York, Saro-Wiwa produced and co-curated the group exhibition Sharon Stone in Abuja, which explored the narrative and visual conventions of the Nigerian “Nollywood” video-film industry through Saro-Wiwa’s video installations and included works by Wangechi Mutu, Mickalene Thomas, Andrew Esiebo, and Pieter Hugo. 

Saro-Wiwa’s work is in the collections of Museusm and private collections in the US, UK and the Carribean.. 

Phyllis: I Am not Alone, 2010

Archival Print

67 x101 cm

Courtesy of Zina Saro-Wiwa

 

Phyllis: Street Hawker, 2010

Archival Print

67 x101 cm

Courtesy of Zina Saro-Wiwa

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Phyllis: Phyllis, 2010,

Archival Print

67 x101 cm

Courtesy of Zina Saro-Wiwa