The first time I heard about Surrealism, it was in a very hot French literature class in the University of Benin. I was very fascinated by the term “Surrealism”;a type of art that defied the rules of “normal” reality while establishing its own reality. I also thought that this form of art was an “Oyinbo” thing, well that was until I met Luke Agada.
Luke Agada is a Nigerian surrealist who uses this art form to speak his truth. According to him “Surrealism allows me to say something the way it ought to be said“.
Speaking on what Surrealism is and how its application can create a change in the mindset of the Nigerian society, he says “Although an art movement which founded its roots in Europe during the 20th century after the first world war, surrealism is every bit a contemporary form of art. It was an anarchic response of a few writers and artists in an effort to liberate the imagination. It triggered a revolution and raised questions about what should be accepted as normal.
“The art of Surrealism releases the creative potential of the unconscious mind and imagination.
“In the Nigerian society, Surrealism is a call to changing the way we see, perceive and do things. It is picking up the broken fragments of a dysfunctional society, not with the intention of fixing the puzzle back the same way but completely changing the narrative and revealing something new.
“I think Nigerians generally fear change. Most are not aware of this but rather stick it out with the old; enduring the pain and functionally deteriorating as a people rather than finding new ways to deal with the challenge. This has caused history to repeat itself over and again.
“I appreciate and express the concept of contemporary surrealism as my creative approach because it helps to gradually shift our focus from merely running the survival race to that of truly living, and that can bring about revolutionary ideas in solving the same problems that drive us into frenzy simply because it is solely dependent on the right motive.
“I am all about showing the society a different world-view through my paintings, to see the extra-ordinary in the tiniest of details. Using displacement and juxtaposition to show that we live in a super-dynamic world; that 6 can become 9, that history does not have to repeat itself.
“In a nutshell, surrealism relates well with the possibilities that exists in our nature as spirit beings, because it transcends physical comprehension. It can be a vital tool for positive change because it allows us to dream, believe in it and bend reality to our will.
For Luke Agada, Surrealism is indeed another reality.