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Bluer on the other side (The problem with immigration), Oar #8

Bluer on the other side (The problem with immigration), Oar #8

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Péju Alatise

Based in Lagos, Peju Alatise studied as an architect, rather than an artist. Her training still informs her work: “You can’t go through six years of architecture and not feel structure… [Architecture] makes you so aware of physicality.” The three oars presented here are part of a series of paddles that the artist constructed intended to hang in space, demonstrating these concerns. Her work addresses a number of social issues, including underage marriage, the loss of local industry and tradition, and immigration. “My work,” she writes, “tells a story of a cultural practice that is quickly being eroded” – not (this time) by European ideology, but rather by global trade “as the unfortunate appetite [in Nigeria] for all things imported abandons indigenous practices.” “The unfortunate appearance of the traditional kings and Obas and the Alafin adorned in polyester lace from China is evidence of all that is wrong,” she writes, “This is not a new story, this is an echo of stories from Nigerian colonial era.” Featured in Bluer on the other side (The problem with immigration) is the artist’s representation of traditional cloth, which in the contemporary economy is more and more frequently being outsourced to other countries.
Péju Alatise
(Nigerian, b. 1975)
Bluer on the other side (The problem with immigration), Oar #8
Wood, textile, stone cast, acrylic, and metal
15 x 69 x 2 3/4 in. overall
Sara Guyer and Scott Straus Contemporary African Art Initiative made possible by the Straus Family Foundation
Accession No.


2020, sold by Sulger-Buel Gallery (London, England) to the Chazen Museum of Art

  • Sulger-Buel Gallery. "Memoirs of the Forgotten." exh. cat. London: Sulger-Buel Gallery, 2019. pp. 6-7
  • Chazen Museum of Art. "Insistent Presence: Contemporary African Art from the Chazen Collection." Madison, WI: Regents to the University of Wisconsin System and New York: Thames & Hudson, 2023. pp. 26-27, cat. no. 4

  • Insistent Presence: Contemporary African Art from the Chazen Collection: Chazen Museum of Art, 9/5/2023–12/23/2023
  • Memoirs of the Forgotten: Sulger-Buel Gallery, 9/12/2019–10/31/2019

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