Duke Asidere on Transcendence and Hope
By: Frank Ugiomoh


Duke Asidere is an artist whose command of form evokes the sensuous in such ways that enchant. His many approaches to the realisation of form notwithstanding, his formal vocabulary seethes with lively sentiments that invigorate aspects of lived reality in the audience; at the same time alluring to identify with. Partly responsible for the above attribution, I dare to suggest, is his disposition as an artist. He invests the common-place with mysterious airs that seem to say; the secrecies of nature are not sophisticated after all; they are within reach and lurking by to be appreciated in the simplicity that clads nature. Hence, in a previous solo exhibition, I called attention to the way Asidere captures ‘truth’ in visual fictions or metaphors that allow an understanding of the principles and the nature of reality so addressed in the themes and titles that obcess him…………

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David Morgan, “Enchantments, Disenchantments, Re-enchantments,” in Re-enchantment, eds. James Elkins and David Morgan, (London: Routledge, 2009) 14.

Frank Ugiomoh, “A Profound Artist,” in Mental Space, an exhibition of Duke Asdere, curated by Sandra Obiagor, July 4 – September 15, (Lagos, 2016), 28, In my assertion regarding the truth value in Asidere’s work, I am mindful of Martin Heidegger’s summation regarding the value of the work of art as a revelation of “truth” in the concept of Alathea.

Hans-Georg Gadamer, Philosophical Hermeneutics, translated and edited by Daviv E. Linge, (New York and London: University of California Press, 1976) 95-104.

Morgan, ibid.

Duke Asidere,

Reenchantments: The City in the Blue Daylight is the title of the 12th edition of Dak’art Biennial that held in May 2016.

Roland Barthes, Camera Lucida: Reflections on Photography, translated by Richard Howard, (New York: 1981)

James Elkins, The Object Stares Back: On the Nature of Seeing, (New York, London: A Harvest Book, Harcourt Brace, 1996)

Cynthia Freeland, Portraits and Persons, (Oxford: University Press, 2010).

Elkins, ibid 13.

Barthes, 109.

Freeland, 49.

Leo Steinberg, “The Eye is a Part of the Mind,” (1953) in Other Criteria: Confrontations with 20th Century Art, London: Oxford University Press, 1972) 299.

Elkins, ibid, 13.


Ugiomoh, ibid

Simon Njami, “The Seeing Power” Curatorial statement in Reenchantments: The City in the Blue Daylight is the title of the 12th edition of Dak’art Biennial that held in May (2016) 22.

Asidere, ibid.

This poem of Senghor was inscribed on the wall of the exhibition venue of the of the 12 edition of the Dak’art Biennial.

Ihab Hassan, “Queries for Postcolonial Studies,” quoted in Frank A. O. Ugiomoh, “The Crisis of Modernity: Art and the Definition of Cultures in Africa,” Third Text,, Vol. 21 Issue 3 (May 2007) 297.

Asdere, ibid.


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