Brooklyn’s MoCADA is Back with Dennis Osadebe’s Post-Pop Afro-Surrealist Exhibition

The Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts (MoCADA) presents Inside Out, a solo exhibition by Nigerian mixed-media artist Dennis Osadebe, beginning Friday, October 29.

The first in-person show since MoCADA temporarily closed its doors due to the rising threat of the pandemic, Osadebe’s special presentation is a participatory experience consisting of a virtual exhibition and “Playful Rebellion”, an interactive game developed by the artist that explores the foundational themes of his practice, such as history, innovation, heritage, and the possibilities of the future. Venture into the arcade-like installation in-person or explore it from home to delve into the ordinary lives that Osadebe turns into provocative, post-pop technicolor fantasies.

Through this lens, the metaphysical seeps through traditional Nigerian masks donned by each of his characters, as viewers witness Osadebe’s resilient seedlings uproot broken systems to birth new ways of living, whether they are in protest or at rest. “Play is one of the foundations of my creative expression and over the years I have always contemplated how through playfulness, we can bring together people, strengthen the community, and challenge apathy and injustices,” shares Osadebe who coined the cultural movement, ‘Neo-Africa’ as a response to deconstruct the limiting, lazy term of ‘African Art’.   Osadebe’s work creates a pivotal questioning towards where the collective social reckoning against police brutality and white supremacy will take us next.

Between moments of fear, grief, boredom, rage, and excitement, where is the absurdity of the “now”?   “Inside Out is a safe space that affords viewers the freedom to grow above and beyond the surface right now. This is exactly what the writer D. Scot Miller addressed in his 10-point manifesto that outlines the differences between Afrosurrealism and Afrofuturism. two major points that are recurring throughout the work of Osadebe, whether in his paintings, sculptures or other musings,” adds Amy Andrieux, MoCADA’s Chief Curator and Executive Director.  

Inside Out by Dennis Osadebe is on view to the public beginning October 29, 2021 through February 13, 2022. Public Opening: Friday, October 29, 2021 | 7:00-10:00 PM