Temitayo Ogunbiyi

Lagos, Nigeria and Gwynedd, Pennsylvania
Architecture & Design, Artistic Activism

An estimated five public play spaces in Lagos, Nigeria serve over 20 million Lagosians. Stunned by this number Temitayo Ogunbiyi began to rethink what constitutes play. How can the meanings of and stimuli for play shift within, inform, build, reinforce and reflect communities? Playing, role play, collaborative play and being played may be found in casual interactions, gesticulations, and other strategies for survival. Referencing anthropological histories, this project seeks to capture notions of communal relations and responsibility through play as physical and virtual exchanges. Eco-concerned in execution, the project aims to position diverse histories of people—Africans, Caribbeans, and their diasporas especially—as catalysts for future problem solvers by staging playful exchanges. How can such interactions generate critical perspectives of the present towards more equitable futures? How can play question dominant narratives of knowledge and technology?

Temitayo Ogunbiyi explores environment, line, and representation. Moving between mediums, her work links current events and anthropological histories, and aims to build diverse communities from perspective as Nigerian-American-Jamaican. Ogunbiyi is the recipient of several fellowships and awards, including a 2020-2021 Digital Earth Fellowship, a 2018 Smithsonian Artist in Research Fellowship and a 2014 Ford Foundation Fellowship. Her artwork has been exhibited at the Madre Museum in Naples, Italy; the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts; the Centre for Contemporary Art Lagos; the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts in Brooklyn, New York; the Perm Art Museum in Perm, Russia; a curatorial publication for the 10th Berlin Biennale; the Fries Museum in Berlin; and the 2nd Lagos Biennial.