Interviewing Oladimeji Coker, a talented photographer
Oladimej is a documentary photographer and an activist originary from Nigeria, currently based in Australia and working on his research about culture, traditions and people. His interests go so further as data science, studying also a master in data analytics.
With his black and white photographs captures hidden dimensions of the (un)consciousness as an attempt to freeze the time and give people a moment of reflection about their neglected heritage and identity. He rips off the curtain of appearances and talks about human duality and self-awareness. And, in an act of courage and solidarity, with extraordinary sensibility and maturity, unclothes his own heart and EMBRACE “the Abandoned, the Nobodies, the Depressed, the Broken, the Loners, the Bipolar” because “Pain Is All Part of Growth.” He is a fervent fighter for community and a change of mentality.
Oladimeji has participated in different exhibitions as: ILE (Nigeria, 2016), photographs exhibition held in conjunction with Legacy95, a historical and environmental interest group, 2017 Young Contemporaries group exhibition at Rele gallery (Nigeria, 2017), “The visible invisible” (Norway, 2017), among many others.
We invite you to discover more about his work on: https://dimejy.com/
Let´s find more about him:
1. Who is Oladimeji Coker behind the activist and photographer´s facet and how this influences your artistic work?
I am a very impulsive person, I genuinely believe in exploring the most random thoughts that cross my mind. These thoughts are usually revolving round the same topics though: culture, people, traditions, inclusion, acceptance, etc. My artistic work through my chosen medium of photography is therefore a never-ending essay of how I see these topics being acted out right before me.
2. What drove you to the documentary photography and how would you define your style?
My interest in photography started while I was in a faraway state(Kogi) from where I was based in Lagos, Nigeria. Kogi had a landscape, people and culture which I wanted to keep memories of and photography was a medium to do this. So, I would say documentary photography started as a selfish means to retain memories of places, people and culture.
My style tends towards dead-pan which was and is still used by documentary photographers. The photographer tends to detach himself from the image being made, allowing the audience make an inference of what they are viewing. There is therefore no forethought to the images. What you see is what is or is not.
The best part for me is reviewing the pictures when it’s all over to try to decipher why I was interested in capturing those moments. It is amazing when you discover that events are not so random after all. There is always some correlation in the way the photographer shoots and what he shoots; what seemingly different subjects do while alone or with people.
3. What are the most difficult challenges you have met professionally?
I would say the most difficult challenge is constantly having to remind myself to keep producing works/stories I am curious about exploring and not works to satisfy popular demands.
4. In Glimpses into my soul you say: “I´m not weird, I´m rare. Life has a funny way of putting you in place.” Where or how do you find your strength and inspiration?
My inspiration comes from life itself, people and how they wade through life within the invisible boundaries the culture and traditions of the society. There is always so much you can pick up from just listening, being mentally and physically aware of people and the society you live in.
5. How is your creation process from idea to final work?
My creation process starts with walking the street of Melbourne where I am currently studying with my camera observing and soaking in everything happening. Sometimes, an event occurs which I then decide to explore thoroughly. Exploring it might involve speaking with people on the spot or later. It might also involve recreating that exact scenario.
Before the final work is concluded, as I stated earlier, I like to ponder over the images to decipher what piqued my curiosity and if my curiosity has been satisfied.
6. What topics or techniques do you feel you need to explore?
I would love to dedicate a year or more to exploring the lives of people who have recently moved from their country of origin either for economic or refugee reasons. I am particularly interested in their struggles to balance the culture and traditions of their origin with the new society. I would like to know how long it takes them to reach a point where they let go of all they previous held true and why they have decided to let go.
7. Can you tell us something about your current project? and What about your next adventure?
My current project is a photo and audio documentary. I am interviewing people in Melbourne who were not born in the country asking them if “the grass truly has been greener” on the other side. I have had the idea since January but recently started working on it. Once I can get over 20 interviews, I will start posting the interviews weekly online.
Olidameji Coker, is one of the wonderful photographers that participated in the international photography exhibition "The visible invisible" (InSea-UNESCO, Enredadas, UAM, OsloMet, SOS Children´s Villages, As VGS) , held in Oslo (Norway) in 2017, along other artists from Norway, UK, Netherlands, Nigeria, Russia, Romania, Spain, Uruguay, Brazil, South Africa and Italy.
author Georgeta Negraru
Pubblicata martedì 08 maggio 2018
Da Arte Digitale
Indirizzo suggerito Dimeji Coker