Ecstatic (2009)

How does one exhale in a demanding and constrictive city where millions of people struggle not just for physical space but also a mental anchor point? When one decides to climb higher than where one is expected to be, then suddenly realizes what is promised doesn’t even exist in that space at the top, do you remain there or jump? When one decides to jump, in an ecstatic moment of escape and temporary liberation, where does he expect to land?

These and many other questions overwhelmed me when I first started this body of work, Ecstatic. In performing and photographing Ecstatic, I make my way to the top of vehicles around my neighborhood in Lagos only to take a rapturous leap, in effect creating a temporary social space for myself before gravity returns me to reality. This unique space forming as my body curves through the air allows me to agonize, scream, exhale and at the same time empathize with other Lagosians like me in the daily struggle to exist. The inner turmoil created by a merciless city whose pressures tug at me from every side needs some form of exorcism, and Ecstatic has provided me that momentary exhilaration.

Medium: Inkjet prints on fiber paper

Copyright © 2020 Abraham O. Oghobase. All rights reserved.
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