From a European perspective, the affirmation of cultural identities on display in these shows is important in London as it is anywhere in the world. There’s a dangerous lack of strong political opposition to the rhetoric of the far right just now, and the contribution of artists is vital to broadening and enriching the context in which significant debate and action can occur. Ba, Ehikhamonor, and Wiley aren’t interested in sloganeering, or in producing pre-digested protest art; instead they’re asserting their presence and cultural sovereignty, and reminding us that the climate of xenophobia in Europe is nothing new.
Kehinde Wiley: In Search of the Miraculous is on view at Stephen Friedman Gallery, London, through January 27, 2018. Omer Ba: Supernova is on view at Hales Gallery, London, though December 9, 2017. Victor Ehikhamenor: In the Kingdom of this World is on view at Tyburn Gallery, London, though January 20, 2018.
You can read much more about these artists at Garage.