Exhibition: In Search of The Alternative Utopias Longinos Nagila
Starts: Friday, 7 July, 2017 03:00pm
Ends: Friday, 7 July, 2017 04:00pm
It's horrible when people are only interested in buying labels, because it doesn't bring them the happiness they think it will. - Miuccia Prada (Italian Fashion Designer)
Luxury is a state of mind. – L’Wren Scott (American Fashion Designer)
In this conceptual installation, Longinos Nagila looks at the relationship between the buyer and seller who consume luxury goods.
Nagila uses the conversation surrounding migrants to Europe and the fake goods they sell, specifically on the streets of Italy, to people who yearn for an impression that they can’t afford.
His work explores the idea of a “new utopia,” a better world based on what luxury goods promise. This may be employment for the migrants who sell fake bags, or the impression of wealth/ status to the buyer of this fake luxury good.
Both buyer and seller are in search of this bigger dream at whatever cost and both buyer and seller are in some way linked, part slave - part dreamer to the life of fake “luxury.” This alternative utopia is played out on the open street where both dreamers are equalised and at the same time where their vulnerabilities are exposed. The seller is in constant fear of being arrested by the police and the buyer is in constant fear of being spotted buying a fake “luxury" good.
Nagila taps into his past as a construction worker and a rural – urban migrant (Busia to Nairobi) who eventually travelled and lived in Italy.
The exhibition is the most extensive of his work and features sculptural pieces, video art and paintings.
Longinos Nagila is a visual artist. He was born in Kenya in 1986. Longinos held his first solo exhibition in Lecce, Italy in 2009-2010 where he has since continued to exhibit. In 2012-2013 he was one of the artists who exhibited at the Museo Africano in Verona, Italy. In Kenya, he held his first solo exhibition at the Shift - Eye Gallery in Nairobi, followed by “Technicians of the Sacred” held at The Art Space in 2016. This solo exhibition looked at our definition of the sacred with reference to the African context. He works with different mediums ranging from coffee, charcoal and acrylics. He is inspired by different artists from whom he has developed his own visual language. These artists include Andy Warhol, John Baldessari, and Egon Schiele, just to name a few. He currently lives and works in Nairobi, Kenya where he has a studio at the Kuona Trust Art Center.
About the partnership between Simba Corp and The Art Space
This exhibition provides a unique experience through which interactive installation art is presented in an unusual and beautiful space allowing for an interaction between conceptual work, the corporate world as well as the general public. Simba Corp’s Aspire Centre, with its state of the art motor vehicle showroom, workshop and coffee shop spaces provides the ideal space for this interaction.
For the Art Space, the goal is to make Nairobi City a malleable art gallery, demonstrating that art can be experienced anywhere and continuously appreciated by existing and new audiences.