The popularity of art festivals and biennials in major cities across the world has set a pattern through which contemporary art is imagined, perceived and structured. With objectives usually directed towards the advancement of art, philosophical ideologies, and promotion of artists, these periodic events have become a part of the calendar for art activities globally. Lagos, the commercial nerve point of Africa and an art destination on the continent was recently mentioned along with 12 other cities in a publication by Phaidon titled ‚ÄúArt Cities of the Future: 21st Century Avant-Gardes‚Äù as one of the emerging art capitals of the world.
With its last major art festival being FESTAC ‚Äô77 and more recently Lagos Photo, ARESUVA, and Art X, the city of Lagos has blossomed in the arts with notable personalities taking on the international art scene in various capacities as artists, curators, art historians etc. With other major cities in Africa having a growing number of large/medium-scale art festivals such as the Dak‚Äôart Biennale, Cairo Biennale, Marrakesh Biennale, Recontres Bamako, Kampala Biennale, and Addis Foto Fest. It has become expedient for the city of Lagos to capture the individual and collective efforts of art practitioners within and outside the continent, while also harnessing the creative ambitions of artists from all over the world in this dynamic space. It is necessary to open up an artistic dialogue with the rest of the world in the form of large-scale projects and exhibitions of contemporary art.
The biennial which is an artist initiative will hold once every two years in the city of Lagos with the primary aim of opening cultural, artistic, and political conversations from Lagos to the rest of the world. In line with the spirit of Lagos which is all-welcoming, the Lagos biennial is not driven by Afrocentric ideologies but rather embraces the unifying simplicity of the human experience.