The Windowall Gallery Installations
The Windowall Gallery is located inside Ken Saro-Wiwa’s old office. The office is now a miniature museum site and forms part of Boys’ Quarters Project Space which surrounds it. The Windowall is the former window Ken would have looked out of when he was alive. Although his office has been preserved, this particular window has been blocked out so that photos and (silent) video installations that explore Ken’s life and legacy can be projected. So it is now the window to somewhere else: his soul or perhaps the places that he has reached that we have not yet seen or understood. Visitors to Boys’ Quarters look through a glass door to view his office and the Windowall installations which change with each exhibition featured in the surrounding galleries. See information on Windowall installations below:
EXCERPTS FROM KEN’S LIBRARY
Our first exhibition showed 50 books from Ken’s library in response to Port Harcourt’s status as UNESCO Book Capital of the World. Great writers are often great readers. Port Harcourt is UNESCO book capital of the year and Ken Saro-Wiwa used to be education minister of Port Harcourt. His interest was necessarily about literacy as well as the literary. And this grows ever more important today where literacy has declined dramatically and the reading culture focuses ever-narrowly on religious self-help books. The breadth and variety of his literary diet is of particular interest given the current climate. See the installation by clicking below.
KEN SARO-WIWA AND THE OGELE
From Sept 17th till 6th December the windowall featured an installation which explored how Ken Saro-Wiwa has been folklorised by masquerade groups in Ogoniland. In “Ken Saro-Wiwa and the Ogele” we witness memory at work in neo-traditional art forms in Ogoniland. Download gallery notes about the current exhibition here and view a film based on the installation below:
From 13th Dec 2014 till 21st Feb 2015, the Windowall features a durational video installation piece made by Zina Saro-Wiwa. It documents the journey her father would have taken from the house in Port Harcourt to the office which is the same journey Zina now takes from the same house to the same office that is now Boys’ Quarters gallery. The work explores movement and change from a historical perspective that is both internal and external, personal and political. In early 2015 a shorter web version of this film will appear online which will feature a voiceover of one of Ken Saro-Wiwa’s newspaper columns. (Below: a still from “Journey” by Zina Saro-Wiwa (2014) video approx 40minutes).
In August 2015, artist and curator Zina Saro-Wiwa commissioned Amsterdam-based British photographer Stuart Acker Holt to photograph the street that had been named after the executed Nigerian human rights activist, Ken Saro-Wiwa. Ken was hung in 1995 alongside 8 other men my the military dictatorship…