Fatimah Tuggar

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Fatimah Tuggar
Fatimah Tuggar.jpg
Born 1967
Kaduna, Nigeria
Nationality Nigerian / American
Education Whitney Museum of Amerivan Art ISP Program Yale University Kansas City Art Institute
Known for Visual art, installation art, Web-based Interactive Media, Sculpture
Awards W. A. Mellon Research Fellowship, Prix Special du Jury, “Ves Rencontres, Bamako, Mali

Fatimah Tuggar (born 1967) is a Nigerian visual artist and now based in the United States.


Tuggar was born in Kaduna, Nigeria in 1967.[1] She studied in London before receiving a BFA from Kansas City Art Institute in the USA.[1] Tuggar completed her MFA at Yale University in 1996. Since she 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 (2005), Paris 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 Center, Montreal, Canada, Contemporary Art, Copenhagen, Denmark. She is now based in Toronto,, Canada.


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.[2]

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 lie in these juxtapositions which explore how media affects our daily lives. Overall Tuggar’s work using strategies of deconstruction to challenge our perceptions and attachments to accustomed ways of looking. The body of work conflates ideas about race, gender and class;[3] disturbing our notions of subjectivity.

Her works comment on potentially sensitive themes such as ethnicity, technology and post-colonial culture, although the artist chooses not to extend a didactic message, but rather to elucidate cultural nuances that go beyond obvious cross-cultural comparison.

For example, in this 1996 sculpture entailed Turntable,[4] Tuggar uses raffia discs to replace the vinyl record. The artwork speaks of the influence on language the introduction of the gramophone brought. 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, coproduced 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–WorldWar 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.

Selected exhibitions[edit]

  • 2002 Changing Space, Art Production Fund, New York, Web Project (Solo)
  • 2002 Video Room, Art & Public, Geneva, Switzerland (Solo)
  • 2002 The Avram Gallery, Southampton Collage, Long Island University, US (Solo)
  • 2001 Tempo, Museum of Modern Art, New York, US
  • 2001 Empire/State: Artist Engaging Globalization, Whitney Museum of American Art, Independent Study Program
  • 2001 Africaine, The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, US
  • 2000 A Work in Progress, New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York, US
  • 2000 Poetics and Power, Cleveland Center for Contemporary Art, US
  • 2000 Crossing the Line, Queens Museum of Art, New York, US
  • 2000 The New World, The Vices and Virtues, Bienal de Valencia, Spain Bienal da Maia 2001, Porto, Portugal
  • 2000 Celebrations, Galeria Joao Graça, Lisboa, Portugal (Solo)
  • 2000 At the Water Tap, Greene Naftali Gallery, New York, US (Solo)
  • 2000 Fusion Cuisine, Le Musee Chateau, Annecy, France, “Fusion Cuisine”, Screening (Solo)
  • 2000 Fusion Cuisine & Tell Me Again, The Kitchen, New York, US, Art & Public, Geneva, Switzerland (Solo)
  • 1999 The Passion and The Wave, 6th International Istanbul Biennial, Istanbul
  • 1999 Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York, US, “Beyond Technology”
  • 1998 Village Spells, Plexus.org (Solo)

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b Julie L. McGee, Mechanical Hall Gallery - Fatimah Tuggar: In/Visible Seams, University of Delaware. Retrieved 5 May 2013.
  2. ^ 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), page 179. ISBN 978-0-226-25303-9. Retrieved 5 May 2013.
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University. “Turntable” Retrieved 9 September 2010.

Nka, Journal of Contemporary African Art: Analog Girls in a Digital World; Fatimah Tuggar’s 2013

Afrofuturist Intervention in the Politics of “Traditional” African Art, Elizabeth Hamilton

Visual Communications Journal: “The Ethics of Images,” edited by

Bolette Blaagaard & Carey Jewit “Montage as a Tool of Political Visual Realignment,” Fatimah Tuggar, page 375 – 392, University of London, UK Institute of Education; Culture, Communication & Media Department, SAGE Publications, Special Issue, August 2013,