Fotomuseum Winterthur | Grüzenstrasse 44 | CH – 8400 Winterthur
Frida Orupabo: I Have Seen a Million Pictures of My Face And I Still Have No Idea
Frida Orupabo dissects images and visual records, dis-members and reassembles Black bodies to give them new lives, narratives and histories. With her analog black-and-white collages and video works, the Norwegian-Nigerian artist and sociologist challenges our ways of seeing – thereby making visible how photography is involved in the formation and perpetuation of colonial power relations, which are not least inscribed in the gaze.
For her delicate and at times sculptural works, Orupabo uses visual material that circulates online, from films, art and popular culture to science, ethnography or medicine. The Black female body lies at the heart of her investigations: through its violent (pictorial) history, Orupabo negotiates the themes of colonial violence, racism, sexuality and identity. By dismembering images and reassembling their pieces, with the fractures emerging like scars, Orupabo deconstructs stereotypical representations, processes of objectification, fixation and othering, in which photography becomes an accomplice to the colonial gaze and its legacy.
Finally, the Norwegian-Nigerian artist and sociologist also situates her own biography in the collective history and circulation of images by incorporating private photographs from her family archive. Orupabo’s artistic practice formulates a subtle form of resistance that thwarts the prevailing gaze and relentlessly challenges the viewers to consider their position within the photographic encounter.
Fotomuseum Winterthur presents the first solo exhibition of Frida Orupabo (*1986) in Switzerland. Orupabo’s work has been shown internationally in solo and group exhibitions, including the São Paulo Biennale (2021), Kunsthall Trondheim (2021), Museum Ludwig, Cologne (2020), Biennale di Venezia (2019), Julia Stoschek Collection, Berlin (2018), or Galerie Nordenhake, Stockholm (2018).
The exhibition title is a quote by Elaine Kahn, I Know I Am Not an Easy Woman, 2015.
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