J.D. ‘Okhai Ojeikere

J.D. ‘Okhai Ojeikere: Abebe, 1975
Silver gelatine toned print on barite paper
Courtesy MAGNIN-A, Paris

Abebe, 1975

In the late 1960s, ‘Okhai Ojeikere began documenting everyday forms of Nigerian culture, such as music, street crafts and theater. He paid special attention to women’s hairstyles. Since he hardly changed the composition of his photos, these hairstyles are shown to advantage in all their artistry.
The serial moment with which Ojeikere plays is reminiscent of the systematic claim of visual ethnology. But the pictures make no attempt to classify and interpret the hairstyles. They do not lend themselves to the transfer of cultural forms into knowledge. The viewer has nothing to learn except respect for the beautiful form.