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CHROMATIN by: Medina Dugger x François Beaurain 

Pigment print on Hahnemuehle cotton rag + ANIMATED NFT

Series of 5 + 2 AP 

Contact for availability 

PROJECT DESCRIPTION BELOW 

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In this collaboration, Medina thematically evolves her series 'Chroma: An Ode to J.D. Ojeikere' which colorfully re-envisioned traditional Nigerian hairstyles, in order to examine the geometric mathematic/fractal nature of the hairstyles themselves through the creation of animated digital-images along with artist François Beaurain.

In biology, “chromatin” designates the macromolecule in which DNA is packed and it is known to adopt complex and repetitive (fractal) geometry. This macromolecule’s name comes from the ancient Greek word “chroma” (colour), which was named for its ability to fix dyes. François and Medina explore the deeper layers behind hair braiding, highlighting the geometric history that contributed to the practice — exemplified via recursive fractal patterns (with smaller parts mirroring larger parts) evident in African societies. Fractals are at the heart of African design and art. Prior to the arrival of Europeans to the African continent, African societies developed these recursive patterns which informed the layout of African villages, hairdos and designs in African art. Examples may be found from ancient Egypt to Sub-Saharan Africa, but were ignored by the West. Braiding is one of the rare contemporary cultural practices where fractals may still be found in Africa. African hair designs are among the last remnants of an ancient African cultural pillar that has been nearly annihilated by centuries of colonization and cultural domination.

 

François’ expertise in animating the hair designs was an exciting opportunity to present the concept of fractals in a visually engaging manner — similar to the continually-moving examples of fractal geometry found in nature, such as design formations in: plants, trees, rivers, snow flakes, lightening, salt flats, canyons and clouds. The designs were first created using gif file format - an animated image technology which was then converted to an NFT. NFT stands for “non-fungible token”. Non-fungible, in this case, means a digital artistic file that is completely unique and irreplaceable - A "one-of-a-kind" asset that can be bought and sold by makers and buyers akin to any other property. NFT’s are the result of block-chain technology, increasingly prevalent in the arts and also responsible for crypto-currency.

 

François and Medina were eager to employ this cutting-edge format as a financial instrument to further secure the value of the files in the context of a limited-edition, digital work-of-art and to be a part of this exciting historical chapter in the advancement of digitized art. 
 

unVeiled by: Medina Dugger x Bubu Ogisi

unVeiled -Still image features a performance video created by Medina Dugger and creative director Bubu Ogisi. The performance positions a woman on the streets of Lagos Island, removing her chador head covering, only to reveal another one of another color its place. In Lagos, Muslim women often choose bold, bright colours and patterns, illustrating the influence of Nigerian style on the tradition and revealing the garment’s contribution to identity and self-expression. The performance, played on-loop, presents an infinite, un-ending stream of removal and replacement. It reflects on the age-old practice of veiling and the controversial, symbolic perceptions and realities associated with the women who wear them such as: religion, tradition, identity, freedom, emancipation, social conditioning, marginalisation, prejudice, acceptance, isolation and kinship, underlying a woman’s decision to veil or unveil and ultimately supporting her freedom of choice.
 

unVeiled was exhibited at the Kunstgewerbemuseum (Museum of Decorative Arts), Berlin and the Art Summit Nigeria, 2019.

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