LAGOS STUDIO ARCHIVES
The project started in 2015 when Ohiri discovered that archives were being burnt, destroyed and discarded by a generation of photographers who were part of a shift from analogue to digital photography, many opting for the speed and convenience of a digital workflow to meet the demands of a fast paced megacity.
This commercial transition led to many archives being abandoned and left to deteriorate in humid conditions. Working with local photographers the artist started acquiring the endangered negatives embarking on a self-funded emergency acquisition period (2015-2021) in an attempt to ensure that this precious cultural heritage was not lost over time.
The archives mission is to collect, preserve and present the imagery of a generation of photographers that captured the style, humour and aspirations of everyday Lagosians. The archive has become a source to unearth, reconfigure and present the fragments of a rich visual history that documents Africa's most populous city.
Through the manifestation of appropriated works, publications and curated exhibitions the project explores the complex relationship between ownership, authorship and intended context, whilst further expanding dialogues around West African photography, culture and the legacies of the diaspora.
In Autumn 2023 Ohiri's partner and long term collaborator Riikka Kasinen (FIN/UK) will join the project, appointed for her background in photography, art & design and a long standing engagement with the city of Lagos that spans over a decade, she will co-curate the archives first solo exhibition scheduled for 2024 whilst strategising the future of the archive as co-guardian.