The Progress of Love Pt. II
Wura-Natasha Ogunji

In the second part of an homage to Bisi Silva and her legacy, an episode with Wura-Natasha Ogunji, we discuss The Progress of Love curated by Silva in collaboration with the Menil Collection and the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts, in which Wura participated with the performance A Tortoise Walks Majestically on Window Ledges (2012). Focusing on several of her works, the conversation encompasses the concept of love through time, family contexts and histories, religion, social history and the body. Ultimately, we attempt to untangle a critical question brought up by The Progress of Love ~ what is universal and cultural in the definition and expression of love?

Wura-Natasha Ogunji is a visual artist and performer. Her works include drawings hand-stitched into tracing paper, videos and public performances.  Her work is deeply inspired by the daily interactions and frequencies that occur in the city of Lagos, Nigeria, from the epic to the intimate. Ogunji's performances explore the presence of women in public space; these often include investigations of labour, leisure, freedom and frivolity.
     Recent exhibitions include City Prince/sses at Palais de Tokyo; A Slice through the World: Contemporary Artists’ Drawings at Modern Art Oxford; and Every Mask I Ever Loved at ifa-Galerie, Berlin. She was an Artist-Curator for the 33rd São Paulo Bienal where her large-scale performance Days of Being Free premiered. She has also exhibited at the inaugural Lagos Biennial; Kochi-Muziris Biennale; 1:54, London & New York; Seattle Art Museum; Brooklyn Art Museum and Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark.
     Ogunji is a recipient of the prestigious Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship and has received grants from The Pollock-Krasner Foundation; The Dallas Museum of Art and the Idea Fund. She has a BA from Stanford University [1992, Anthropology] and an MFA from San Jose State University [1998, Photography]. She currently resides in Lagos where she is founder/curator of the experimental art space, The Treehouse.

The first performance of If I loved you by Wura-Natasha Ogunji (Photo: Adeola Olagunju)

01 The Progress of Love, 2012, CCA Lagos
02 Wura-Natasha Ogunji, A Tortoise Walks Majestically on Window Ledges, 2012, CCA Lagos 03 Wura-Natasha Ogunji, Beauty, 2013, Performance. Obalende Motor Park, Lagos, Nigeria
04 Wura-Natasha Ogunji, If I loved you, 2017, Performance.  ifa-Galerie Berlin
05 Wura-Natasha Ogunji, The kissing mask, 2017, Performance.  ifa-Galerie Berlin