Drivers Dexterity: George Osodi’s Oeuvre on Safety on the Nigerian Road
AbstractThis paper attempted a reading of the Nigerian condition using the censure of images culled from an exhibition by the Nigerian photographer George Osodi. Drawing attention to the shapes of the images and imageries that constitute the profile of the condition of a major infrastructure, the road and transportation, I have employed these as vestigial to a narrative that embodies diverse contexts. These inflect the identity and history of the Nigerian nation in general. Using the photographic image as the censure on which the fleeting memoriam of the discourse of the day to day lives of the real people of Nigeria an essay ensues: “Art makes the experiences of time spatially perceptible by forcing what is ever fleeting into the calm framework of a symbol” (Beat Wyss, 1998) Reflecting, therefore, on the consequent rhetoric’s inherent in the linguistic/pictorial/cultural turn and the techniques deployed by the photographer to affect presence , I have engaged a reading of the existentialist world view that has shaped the mentality of the real people, hence their conditions of life in contrast to that of the privileged few; in the utilisation of a derelict infrastructure. The image is, therefore, utilised as the symbolic scaffolding that holds the story. The symbols inflect an identity and history. In furtherance of the employment of symbols, I have drawn attention to the place of the photo and the phono-centric images as invaluable synergy in the actualisation of a synchronic analysis. Drawing attention to the ‘pains of others’ this essay explores what is to be done.
Keywords: G.O’s oeuvre, driver’s dexterity, shapes/images, “the real people”
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