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Alterscape Stories: Uprooting the Past

Alterscape Stories: Uprooting the Past

Media: C Print mounted on aluminium
Dimensions: 114 x 360 x 4 cm (H x W x D)

« Alterscape Stories: Uprooting the past » refers to the erasing of the past and installing of the present and how these actions alter the landscape.
The work was made as a triptych in order to refer to 3 temporalities with regards to the landscape visited, namely the past, the present and the possible future.
The far left image of the triptych is about the past which is just nature in progress without the influence of man; a landscape that has been formed by volcanic eruption following the natural process of transformation.
The middle image involves the human, uprooting a ruin. This ruined house is the remains of the servant quarters connected to the old 17th century manorial house ?La Casa del Coronels? in Fuerteventura.
The far right image refers to a possible future where tall buildings are being installed without the consideration of its effect on the environment. The smoke coming out of the mountain is a reminder of the possibility of an eruption and everything could be destroyed.

In a lot of classical paintings the skull was a symbol of memento mori; nothing is eternal. Likewise the smoke in both works refers to the end of an era and the possibility of a new beginning.


Otobong Nkanga is a Nigerian-born contemporary artist renowned for her intricate and thought-provoking works that delve into themes of memory, identity, exploitation, and the environment. Her multidisciplinary approach, encompassing drawing, sculpture, installation, performance, and photography, has earned her global recognition for addressing complex post-colonial, cultural, and ecological issues.

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