Think Traces

David Amaechi Dibiah

In the exhibition THINK TRACES David Amaechi Dibiah shows works from the fields of painting, drawing, photography, installation, video and performance. The Nigerian artist uses all these medias to work on the interplay between African and European art, i.e. both cultures he moves in.

In addition, Dibiah had been searching for a link between arts and mathematics. Since 2006 he has found answers in the theory of Nigerian mathematician Lere O Shakunle. His philosophy of the "Zero Spiral" says that the center of the spiral can never be filled. For David Amaechi Dibiah this "in-between" has been decisive for his artistic concept ever since.

"Differences must exist to create a middle," David Amaechi Dibiah says. "Not recognizing the differences will always pose a problem. Nobody can exist without the middle." The installation "Zero Spiral" is the exhibition's core piece. It consists of a spiral lying on the floor and a 3.50 meter high figure called "One Other Together" which stands in the spiral's center and is made of Nigerian materials.

To David Amaechi Dibiah interpersonal encounters are decisive for his artistic expression. The topics of humanity, love, hatred, religion and politics are central to him and he uses opulent colorfulness to express them. He views red as containing "love, oxygen, inclusion of all human beings," yellow as "hope and light" and blue as "over-human, over-mightiness." To him, black derives from the totality of all colors.

At the same time Dibiah questions existing convictions and cliches that exist between Europeans and Africans in his exhibited photography ( e.g. "Threat" and "Draught", both 2009) and installations (e.g. "Manipulation"). They refer both to the alleged superiority of western consumer goods and Christian values and the fact that traces left by Africans in diaspora countries are most often associated with folkloric and culinary experiences.

David Amaechi Dibiah regards THINK TRACES as an open letter and calls upon all viewers of the exhibition to liberate themselves from bias. "It is an appeal to come together and forge a continuing bond between art and culture," he says. "A natural bond towards an awareness of identity."