Many Rooms explores the experience of disparate presence in relation to home, faith, geography and culture. Interdisciplinary artist, Ebitenyefa Baralaye, examines ways to name the compounded realities and spaces reconciled in a diasporic mindset through form, pattern, and symbolism. Sourcing his own narrative of migration from Nigeria, through the Caribbean and to the United States, Baralaye creates a visual language intended to mediate engagement and displacement and deconstruct spirituality, emotion and culture relative to his own experience.
Baralaye’s life and generation dwells in the engagement of fragmented and transitional being, increasingly used to holding multiple understandings of where we come from, where we are and the realities we are intended for. In his work, Ebitenyefa composes objects that are markers of place, narrative, state and the dualities around them.
To be part of the diaspora means to be present in certain ways – mentally, emotionally and spiritually – in a number of different places and modes. He associates this array of presence to an array of “many rooms”, drawing a parallel to inhabiting the several spaces that create one home. Baralaye presents this negotiation of an African Diasporic identity as its own cultural entity with a distinct aesthetic articulation.
This exhibition was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.