Nigerian architect and artist Olalekan Jeyifous experiments with urban planning strategies and vernacular architectural typologies. Using common architectural pre-visualization and post-production technologies to recreate and propose new notions of living spaces, the artist reconsiders the concepts that define cities.
In Where There’s Gold: Mining Way Station, his work leaves the digital realm to materialize in an experimental model, charged with his signature dystopian urban future concepts. “The design of this structure began as a formal exercise without any presupposed end,” Olalekan Jeyifous states, “with only the intent to create an ‘architectural folly’ that would evoke a notion of space rooted in immanence and possibility.” While the work seeks to engage with contemporary urban spaces, evoking their multiplicity and ambiguity, Olalekan Jeyifous’ choice of materials – wood, paper and metal – can be interpreted as an artistic response to what the he deems the African “resource curse” – the fact that some of the most wealthy regions in the continent seem to be the ones with less economic growth and development outcomes. “The artwork in this regard, while inviting speculation, also examines the anxiety and potential of contested spaces in this changing world,” Olalekan Jeyifous notes.