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Various pieces from Nigerian artist Odili Donald Odita’s exhibition entitled Body & Space.

The ideas behind Body & Space came to me in 1999 in the middle of my own aesthetic investigation on the term, ‘Black.’ Since that time, I have wanted to move beyond what I found to be the abstract nature of black, and find a space that could be more real, and more specific in the many implications and directions created through this term. I eventually found my way through Color. For myself, color is the way to become specific about black, i.e., black as skin, as a social construct, and as real experience.

Color represents freedom. It is the third space. And it is more than grey.

My exploration through color has been a search for a state of being and presence within space. I want to engage with color in terms of the politics of specificity and difference, and to speak toward individuality and of a unique distinctiveness that runs parallel to the notion of humanity itself.

should not be submissive
It cannot be subjugated
It will not obey
It should not play nice
Color is unruly
It is not for the faint of heart
It can be hard and strong
It can be bold
It can be clear and true
It can also lie
It can trick and deceive us all
Color does what it wants
It misbehaves
But most importantly,
Color can change our minds

-Odili Donald Odita, 2010
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