Winner Oroma Elewa
The third edition of Tosetti Value Photography Award was assigned to Oroma Elewa, presented by In Situ – Fabienne Leclerc gallery in Paris, an artist and performer active in the Nigerian community, living between New York City, Marrakech and Lagos, whose work reflects ironically and pointedly on social, cultural, political and racial issues in African society, also mediated by the artist’s personal and direct experiences. Themes of gender and identity dominate Elewa’s work and therefore assume relevance both specific to the artist’s national context and general, these being a global urgency of contemporary times. Oroma Elewa’s work ironically plays on a series of stereotypes about the representation of the female figure, with a particular look at the world of fashion photography and glossy magazines.
The topos of the seductive black girl is fully respected in the iconography that occupies the left side of the work, but is challenged – and essentially laughed at – in the right side, in which a sentence reaffirms the individuality of the choices of the protagonist of the shot. Through the practice of self-portraiture, Elewa puts herself in the first person, at the same time referring – through her disguises – to a now long photographic tradition, which from the years of the Pictures Generation and in particular from the figure of Cindy Sherman and the practice of writing in slogans by authors such as Barbara Kruger reaches up to the present day. Elewa’s work, on the other hand, confirms the extraordinary vitality of photography from the African continent, which is capable of combining the immediacy of the image with a reflection on the most pressing issues of current times.
- Walter Guadagnini, Director, CAMERA – Centro Italiano per la Fotografia, Torino
- Antonio Carloni, Vice Director Gallerie d’Italia, Torino
- Fatma Bucak, Artist
In collaboration with Gallery In Situ Fabienne Leclerc (Parigi)
Photo courtesy: © Perottino-Piva-Peirone / Artissima