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Dusk Exhibition Series: Karikpo Pipeline

7 January 2016 to 24 January 2016 | To be viewed from outside. Fully visible from dusk.

Battersea, Dyson Building

Through 2015/16, the School of Fine Art at the RCA is inviting curators and curatorial agencies to present projects in the Dyson Gallery, Battersea, relating to the themes of the Visual Cultures Lecture Series, Rise Up & Envision - (to develop a cultural and contextual awareness of global transformations.)

This screening of Karikpo Pipeline by Zina Saro-Wiwa is part of the Dusk exhibition series which presents artworks to be experienced from outside the gallery space. The screenings/installations will be fully visible after dark and all are being shown for the first time in London.

Karikpo Pipeline is 5-channel video installation made in 2015 in Ogoniland in the Niger Delta by video artist Zina Saro-Wiwa.

Karikpo is a playful masquerade, unique to the Ogoni people of the Niger Delta. The masquerade – whose masks and movements mimic the antelope – features dramatic feats of acrobatic agility among its male performers and is played for entertainment at least once a year. In Karikpo Pipeline, Saro-Wiwa transposes the dancers’ performances over signs of oil infrastructure in Ogoniland: exposed pipelines, an old wellhead with pollution-soaking sand surrounding it, roads where pipelines had previously lined the landscape, roads where the pipelines still exist but are buried, and a rusting, decommissioned flow station. Filmed with a drone camera, the work offers an opportunity to view the Niger Delta with an eye that conjures surveillance not only by petroleum interests but also by invisible spiritual forces.

Karikpo Pipeline gives visual and embodied form to human relationships with environment, teasing out the physical and emotional dynamics that frame cultural value systems for Ogoni land. At once futuristic and primordial, Karikpo Pipeline exposes the pipelines that traverse the land that are visible and invisible. The work asks, what constitutes true custodianship of the land and where does power lie?

Curated by Zoe Whitley, Tate Modern Adjunct Research Curator

Supported by Guaranty Trust Bank Plc


 About Zina Saro-Wiwa

Zina Saro-Wiwa is a video artist and film-maker. She makes video installations, photographs and experimental films. She also uses food to tell stories, creating recipes and staging special feast performances.

The relationship between the personal and the political is an encompassing theme of Saro-Wiwa’s practise and her current interest lies in mapping emotional landscapes to investigate cultural and environmental issues. The slippery dynamics between “truth” , “reality” and “performance” lie at the heart of her video work.

Saro-Wiwa lives and works between Brooklyn, New York and the Niger Delta in Nigeria where she has set up her own contemporary art space called Boys’ Quarters Project Space in the city of Port Harcourt. Her first solo museum exhibition Did You Know We Taught Them How To Dance? is currently on display at Blaffer Art Museum in Houston, Texas.


Zina Saro-Wiwa will be screening a selection of her works in conversation with Zoe Whitley on Monday 18 January 2016, 7pm at Tate Britain, Clore Auditorium. Click here for more details.