|Nationality||Nigerian / American|
|Education||Whitney Museum of American Art ISP Program Yale University Kansas City Art Institute|
|Known for||Visual art, installation art, Web-based Interactive Media, Sculpture|
|Awards||2019 Guggenheim Fine Arts Fellow|
Fatimah Tuggar (born 15 August 1967) is a Nigerian visual artist who is now based in the United States. Tuggar's video and digital work investigates the cultural and social impact of technology.
Tuggar studied at Blackheath School of Art in London, England, before receiving a BFA from Kansas City Art Institute in the United States. Tuggar completed her MFA at Yale University in 1995. After graduating from Yale, she conducted a one-year postgraduate independent study at the Whitney Museum of American Art. She also attend Kano Corona and Queens Collage Yaba in Nigeria before attending Convent of the Holy Family in Littlehampton, Sussex in England.
Career and Works
Tuggar creates images, objects, installations and web-based instructive media artworks. They juxtapose scenes from African and Western daily life. This draws attention to the process involved and considers gendered subjectivity, belonging, and notions of progress.
Tuggar has shown her work in group exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), the New Museum of Contemporary Art, and international biennial exhibitions such as the Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art (2005), Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels (2003), Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris (2005), and the Bamako Biennal, Mali, 2003. She has received grants from institutions such as W. A. Mellon Research Fellowship – John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute, Durham, NC, US, Artist Production Residency – The Kitchen, New York, New York, US, Civitella Ranieri Fellowship – Civitella Ranieri, Umbertide, Umbria, Italy, Techno-Oboro Residency – Oboro Arts Center, Montreal, Canada, Techno-Oboro Residency – Oboro Arts Centre Montreal, Canada, Contemporary Art, Copenhagen, Denmark.
The objects usually involve some kind of bricolage; combining two or more objects from Western Africa and their Western equivalent to talk about electricity, infrastructure, access and the reciprocal influences between technology and cultures. Similarly, her computer montages and video collage works bring together both video and photographs she shoots herself and found materials from commercials, magazines and archival footage. Meaning for Tuggar seems to lie in these juxtapositions which explore how media affects our daily lives. Overall Tuggar's work uses strategies of deconstruction to challenge our perceptions and attachments to accustomed ways of looking. Her body of work conflates ideas about race, gender and class; disturbing our notions of subjectivity. Her work reflects her multifaceted identity and challenges the idea of a homogeneous Africa.
Her works comment on potentially sensitive themes such as ethnicity, technology and post-colonial culture. The artist chooses not to extend a didactic message, but rather to elucidate cultural nuances that go beyond obvious cross-cultural comparisons. For example, in her 1996 sculpture titled Turntable, Tuggar uses raffia discs in place of vinyl records. The artwork speaks about the ways in which the introduction of the gramophone influenced the development of local language. Because of the physical similarly between the vinyl and fai-fai in many Northern Nigerian languages vinyl record get its name from raffia disc. For instance in Hausa the raffia disc is called fai-fai and vinyl is fai-fain gramophone.
Specifically, the artist's work illustrates how these issues coalesce through visual representational practices such as television commercials, Hollywood film, and product design. Fusion Cuisine, co-produced with the Kitchen (an experimental nonprofit arts center in New York), playfully reveals cold-war American fantasies of consumer technology as gendered emancipation and national progress while exposing the racial and geographic erasures that form the basis of these visions of the future. The video consists of two sets of footage: post–World War II American commercials advertising domestic technologies and targeted toward white American middle-class women and contemporary footage of African women videotaped by the artist in Nigeria. Fusion Cuisine shifts continuously between the archival filmstrips of postwar fantasies of modern life and suburbia and more recent images of domestic work and play in Nigeria.
In her computer montages and video collages, Tuggar brings together images that explore cultural nuances and the different relationships between people and power structures. In her web-based interactive works, participants can create their own collages by selecting animated elements and backgrounds. This process allows participants to construct or disrupt non-linear narratives. Her interactive animated collage, "Transient Transfer", allows participants to create collages from scenes in Greensboro in 2011 or the Bronx in 2008 (see "Street Art, Street Life: From 1950s to Now" at The Bronx Museum of the Arts, New York). In her 2006 web project, Triad Raid, created as part of Rethinking Nordic Colonialism, Tuggar "engages the viewer/participant in a potentially loaded power space of making choices, or not choosing Action or lack of action in this digital environment animates elements to create a dynamic collage. This collage is constructed from: Characters icons and totems, Context landscapes and commodities, and Behaviors actions and interactions between all these elements. This encourages the creation of temporary non-linear narratives, which can be constructed or disrupted based on the choices made by the participant. A key factor is the awareness of choice and the consequences of exercising or choosing not to exercise this potential power."
Additional exhibitions include:
(2015) "Appropriation Art: Finding Meaning in Found-Image Collage" (The Bascom: A Center for the Visual Arts, Highlands, North Carolina)
(2013) "In/Visible Seams" (Mechanical Hall Gallery, University of Delaware, Newark, DE)
(2012) "Harlem Postcards" (Studio Museum Harlem, New York, NY)
(2009) "Tell Me Again: A Concise Retrospective" (Franklin Humanities Institute, Duke University, Durham, NC)
(2005) "Inna's Recipe" (Indiana Black Expo's Summer Celebration, Cultural Arts Pavilion, Indianapolis, Indiana)
(2001) "Empire/State: Artists Engaging Globalization" (The Art Gallery of the Graduate Center, The City University of New York)
(2000) "Poetics and Power" (Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland)
(2000) "Crossing the Line" (Queens Museum of Art)
(2000) "The New World, The Vices and Virtues, Bienal de Valencia, Spain Bienal de Maia (Porto, Portugal)
(2000) "Celebrations" (Galeria Joao Graça, Lisbon, Portugal)
(2000) "At the Water Tap" (Greene Naftali Gallery, New York)
(1999) "The Passion and the Wave" 6th International Istanbul Biennial
(1999) "Beyond Technology: Working in Brooklyn" (Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York)
(1998) "Village Spells" (Plexus.org)
- Jegede, Dele (2009). Encyclopedia of African American Artists. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press. pp. 235-237.
- Julie L. McGee, Mechanical Hall Gallery - Fatimah Tuggar: In/Visible Seams, University of Delaware. Retrieved 5 May 2013.
- "Contemporary Art, Design and New Media Art Histories (MA)". Retrieved March 4, 2017.
- "Fatimah Tuggar". Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society. 2012-10-11. Retrieved 2017-03-18.
- Brodsky, Judith (2012). The Fertile Crescent: Gender, Art and Society. New Brunswick, New Jersey: The Rutgers University Institute for Women and Art. p. 160. ISBN 978-0-9790497-9-8.
- Fleetwood, Nicole R. Troubling Vision: Performance, Visuality, and Blackness. Chapter 5 - Visible Seams: The Media Art of Fatimah Tuggar. The University of Chicago Press (2011), p. 179. ISBN 978-0-226-25303-9. Retrieved 5 May 2013.
- Gonzalez, Jennifer, The Appended Subject: Race and Identity as Digital Assemblage. In Kolko, Nakamura, and Rodman, 2000, 27–50. New York: Routledge. Retrieved 9 September 2010.
- Brodsky, Judith (2012). The Fertile Crescent: Gender, Art, and Society. New Brunswick, New Jersey: Rutgers University Institute for Women and Art. p. 11. ISBN 978-0-9790497-9-8.
- Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University. “Turntable”. Retrieved 9 September 2010.
- "Colonialism Within: Indigenous Rights and Multicultural Realities". Rethinking Nordic Colonialism. 2006. Retrieved March 4, 2017.
- "Fatimah Tuggar". Indianapolis Recorder. July 22, 2005.
- Hamilton, Elizabeth (2013). "Analog Girls in a Digital World: Fatimah Tuggar’s Afrofuturist Intervention in the Politics of “Traditional” African Art". Nka: Journal of Contemporary African Art, No. 33.
- Tuggar, Fatimah (2013). “Montage as a Tool of Political Visual Realignment,” Visual Communications Journal: “The Ethics of Images,” edited by Bolette Blaagaard & Carey Jewit. pp. 375–392, University of London, UK Institute of Education; Culture, Communication & Media Department, SAGE Publications, Special Issue, August 2013, https://doi.org/10.1177/1470357213482607
- Tuggar, Fatimah (2017). "Methods, Making, and West African Influences in the Work of Fatimah Tuggar." African Arts, Vol. 50, No. 4, pp. 12–17. https://doi.org/10.1162/AFAR_a_00370