At the Threshold

Intervention by Emeka Ogboh

The intervention of the artist Emeka Ogboh (*1977 in Enugu, Nigeria) is preceded by the poster action "Missing in Benin" in the Dresden city area in January 2021. The campaign pursued the goal of addressing the absence of Benin Bronzes at their place of origin in Benin, in today's Nigeria, and to consolidate the significance of restitution in public perception. The posters depicted five bronzes that are part of the collection of the Museum für Völkerkunde Dresden and were expropriated from the Royal House of Benin in 1897 as part of a violent looting by the British military.

  • DATES 16/11/2021—04/09/2022

text 1

The newly developed work by Emeka Ogboh presents the Albertinum with a portrait of a Benin Bronze of his series “At the Threshold”. The Bronze is currently held in the collection of the Museum für Völkerkunde Dresden. With this intervention, the artist not only draws attention to a contested part of the collection of the State Art Collections Dresden addressing the presence and absence of the bronzes at their place of origin and in the collections of German museums, but at the same time raises the question of the mutual conditionality of European and non-European art. Emeka Ogboh intervenes precisely in the chronologically staged presentation of the museum's collection: The large-format photograph is displayed at the exact point where the theft of the bronzes by the British colonial power took place - in 1897.

Die begleitende Grafik

The accompanying graphic, initiated by the artist and compiled by the Museum für Völkerkunde Dresden, refers to the different, manifold, and long-standing claims for the restitution of African cultural heritage, particularly that of the historic Kingdom of Benin. A number of examples of artistic, curatorial, and activist campaigns are shown through associated visuals. The posters, brochures, and magazine covers attest to long-running and creative efforts to promote a right to cultural heritage and restitution, as well as to reparations.

Die Intervention

Emeka Ogboh's intervention was initiated by the Museum für Völkerkunde Dresden and the Albertinum. From December 3 onwards, further artistic works of his series “At the Threshold” will be shown parallely at the GRASSI Museum für Völkerkunde zu Leipzig. The museum in Leipzig is opening a first part of its new exhibition in the framework of the project REINVENTING GRASSI.SKD.

Emeka Ogboh

Emeka Ogboh was born in 1977 in Enugu in Nigeria and today lives in Berlin. The sound- and installation artist connects to places with his senses of hearing and taste. Through his works, Ogboh explores how private, public, collective memories and histories are translated, transformed and encoded into image, sound and food. These works contemplate how auditory and gustatory experiences capture existential relationships, frame our understanding of the world and provide a context in which to ask critical questions on immigration, globalization, and post-colonialism. Ogboh has participated in numerous international exhibitions including documenta 14, (2017), Skulptur Projekte Münster (2017), the 56th edition of La Biennale di Venezia (2015), and Dakar Biennale (2014).



Further Exhibitions

Museum für Völkerkunde Dresden

im Japanischen Palais

reich verzierte Holztür mit Fenster


in Zwinger

Teekanne aus Porzellan

GRASSI Museum für Völkerkunde zu Leipzig

in GRASSI Museum Leipzig

To top