Leo Asemota The Ens Project_.html_.htmlshapeimage_1_link_0

The Ens Project by Leo Asemota

This is a Temporary website for The Ens Project an ongoing multipartite work of art by Nigerian born London based artist Leo Asemota.

Asemota has been evolving The Ens Project since spring 2005. The Project’s formative and creative impetus are ancient and contemporary Nigeria’s Edo peoples of Benin’s rich tradition of art and ceremony and their annual Igue rite to the Head; Victorian Britain’s history of invention, exploration and conquest in which the sacking and looting of the former Kingdom of Benin is of particular interest; and the essay “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction” by the German cultural theorist Walter Benjamin.

This Temporary website presents an overview of the Project’s phases, its history, list of works and an ens cyclopædia of related subject matter.

Phase 1 First Principles
Phase 2 The Handmaiden
Phase 3 Eo ipso
Project Historyproject_history.htmlproject_history.htmlshapeimage_5_link_0
Ens Cyclopædiaens_cyclopaedia.htmlens_cyclopaedia.htmlshapeimage_6_link_0
The Prime Mover’s will on the Architectthe_prime_movers_will_on_the_architect.htmlthe_prime_movers_will_on_the_architect.htmlshapeimage_7_link_0
List of workslist_of_works.htmllist_of_works.htmlshapeimage_8_link_0

Stage 1: A Circle in the (w)Hole


The composite of 35 Polaroid Time-Zero colour photographs begins the dialogue between Asemota and the three sources informing The Ens Project.

Stage 2: A Singular Plural


Intended to be viewed from below, A Singular Plural gives visible form to the spiritual and philosophical themes inherent in The Ens Project’s expressive weight and its primary frame of references.

Stage 3: Misfortune’s Wealth


Misfortune’s Wealth’s collection of orhue (kaolin chalk) and coal drawings continues the dialogue initiated during Stage 1: A Circle in the (w)Hole. The drawings also convey the conceptual basis for Eo ipso, the multimedia live art work that will conclude The Ens Project.

Stage 4: After Walter: A transmission in 2 acts


A performance reading on radio of Walter Benjamin’s seminal essay. Broadcast on Resonance 104.4 FM.

Stage 5: Obligation to Ideas: Utility, Symbolism, Metaphor


Asemota adapts the utility, ritualized symbolisms and metaphors of his key materials: orhue (kaolin), coal, steel and brass, to evoke themes inherent in the Project’s primary frame of references.

Stage 6: An Ending, A Beginning

Part 1: The Overtures

Part 2: ens memoralis

Part 3: The longMarch of Displacement


Part 1: The Overtures suite of seven works on paper put forward site-specific performances in London.

Part 2: ens memoralis a performance at the National Portrait Gallery devised around a portrait of Queen Victoria by eminent studio photographer Alexander Bassano.

Part 3: The longMarch of Displacement a parade informed by Queen Victoria’s diamond jubilation on 22nd June 1897 and the British sacking of Benin and subsequent deportation of its ruler Oba Ovonramwen on 5th August 1897. The performance was set along the arc of the Victoria Embankment from Westminster Bridge to Blackfriars Bridge en route to St. Paul’s Cathedral where it culminated with an action at Queen Victoria’s epitaph in the cathedral’s forecourt.

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Excerpt from ens memoralis (2008) DV, colour, sound

Excerpt from RECALL: The longMarch of Displacement (2008) HD video, colour, sound

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fons et origo; Of Movement and Conquest in a Unique Manner; Rulers.

Photos by Bartoz Kali

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(from left) Ens sign; The Inspiriter

Installation view

The Ens Project’s First Principles

New Art Exchange Nottingham (2011)

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Installation view

The Ens Project’s First Principles

New Art Exchange Nottingham (2011)

Detail: A Circle in The (w)Hole

35 Polaroid Time-Zero colour photographs

Clockwise from top:

basis (triptych); video still, cellula rationalis

© Leo Asemota / EoTLA   All Rights Reserved