Catinca Tabacaru Gallery is more than pleased to present through October 08, 2022, “Common Ground” the major independent exhibition by British-Nigerian artist Ranti Bam.
Bringing together another collection of performance-based ceramic works, Ranti Bam‘s practice approaches clay as a material to explore the indistinguishability of man and his present circumstance.
Raised between Africa and Europe, Ranti Bam‘s work structures the majorities of her own set of experiences, possessing the visual and deep culture of two particular worlds that impact today.
These new sculptures are symbols of the body. They are containers, containers whose exterior looks like skin or cowhide. They yield to Ranti Bam‘s embrace of soul over structure. Flawed, the figures crinkle and break, twisted and mangled, their exteriors concealing pools of metallic yellow coating that illuminate the interior – a sacred source.
Ranti Bam seeks to break free from definitions. There is savagery in his definition.
Here, the practices of making are brought together as a remedy for violence. When she looks back at her Nigeria, she recognizes the thesis that enabled its development: a forced state, created by the Royal Niger Company as part of its ongoing quest for capital development.
The forced transition of indigenous cadres to wage labor, the privatization of shared land, the shift from means to cash crops, the inculcation of Judeo-Christian beliefs, the exceptionally organized osmosis of client culture and referral trades… are characteristic acts.
Ranti Bam‘s journey into Nigerian Yoruba culture sends the semiotic parts to woman, closeness, care, weakness, as fundamental to look at how as a relationship to nature can break through philosophical conceptions.
We hear more and more today about being an African in globalized capitals.
How does the neoliberal West relate to African plurality past, present and future?
Ranti Bam‘s work is a personal type of this social inquiry.
Clay has capacities for narrative and repair. It is flexible, delicate, sensual; the clay recalls memories. Ranti Bam reaches out to the material to find comfort, respite, release.
Ranti Bam embraces it, responding to a desire for proximity and beneficial interaction, the best descriptor she can conjure for this inclination. She connotes the longing for skin: the inclination that individuals create when separated from one another.
By naming her characters Ifa, Ranti Bam signals their assortment.
Ifa, in Yoruba, implies both (ifá): divination and (I – fàá): unification.
Perhaps these are votive objects that bring the observer closer to the celestial. As observers, we become observers of the presentation of a custom that changes the artist – another disposition to share one’s private space – unadorned, raw, really taking shape. It is an exceptionally African manifestation to welcome us to enter the collective, however, it is an inclusive manifestation to welcome us to transform ourselves.