Fatimah Tuggar

Fatimah Tuggar

Fatimah Tuggar is a visual artist and photographer born in 1967 in Kaduna, Nigeria. The nuances and parallels within Tuggars own identity, a woman of Nigerian origin, from a predominantly Muslim background, and now currently living in the United States, has greatly influenced her body of work. Employing assorted mediums, Tuggar questions the preconceptions that society prescribes on individual identities. Her collages and montages combine West African and Western motifs from advertising, folklore and popular culture, to compliment and contrast each-other, forging a social commentary on technology and its intrinsic positioning within respective societies, ultimately showcasing Tuggars own collaged reality.

Tuggar further encourages her audience to challenge their own stereotypes and their personal reliance on technology through her Web-based interactive works, allowing participants to create their own collages and narratives using imagery from cultures that they would have otherwise not been exposed to.

African is not a homogenous identity - it is one affected by factors: environmental, technological, socio-economical. Collaged images of black Muslim women wearing traditional dress overlay those of white middle class women; highlighting the distinctions within gender: where tropes of class, race and religion may differ without colliding.

Tuggar’s works have been exhibited in over twenty-five countries, including solo exhibitions, At the Water Tap, Greene Naftali Gallery, New York, 2000; Fusion Cuisine & Tell Me Again, The Kitchen, New York, 2000; Celebrations, Galeria Joao Graça, Lisbon, 2001 and Video Room, Art & Public, Geneva, 2002. She has also participated in numerous renowned group exhibitions such as Tempo, Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2002; Transferts, Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels, 2003; Africa Remix, Centre Georges Pompidou, 2005, and Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, 2006; Bamako Biennial, Mali, 2005; Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art, 2005, among others.

Tuggar attended the Blackheath School of Art in London, 1983–85 before receiving a BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute, 1992; an MFA from Yale University, 1995; and then completing her postgraduate studies at the Whitney Museum of American Art, 1995–96. She is currently a member of the art department faculty at the University of Memphis, and her works are widely referenced internationally within university curricula’s. 

Images courtesy of FATIMAH TUGGAR

words HELENE KLEIH

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