Olajide Ayeni is an Architecture photographer I discovered on Instagram. Let me tell you what attracted me to his work. Lagos, you might have heard, is a very chaotic city. Everyday on these streets, everything blurs – the people, the structures. If people were to make artworks encapsulating the spirit of Lagos, we would probably get abstract clashes of colour and lines in haphazard array. But in this storm of a city, Jide has managed to find order.
He is documenting the grids, lines and patterns of Lagos’ buildings. There have been thousands of papers and research questions of whether or not Nigeria, Lagos, has its own Architectural style. And maybe, by his photographs, Jide is trying to explore these questions.
“Contemplating, What really is African Modernism in Architecture? Does it truly exist? Is it beginning to? Have there been earlier cultural interpretations in the Architecture of Lagos? And are they ‘informal’?”, Jide muses.
In a new series called ‘Electrocuted Architecture’, he is calling attention to the power lines (NEPA lines) that criss-cross the streets of Lagos. I find his work important and beautiful, the photographs that are abstracted of colour giving the lines and edges an extra emphasis. Whether or not those choices were for that intent, the result is a striking collection.
You should follow him on Instagram, there’s a lot of insight into Lagos’ architecture and the photographing of it.
“What is it really, that a photographer wants to accomplish when displaying architecture?
Is (s)he trying to report on architecture and document its appearance.
Or trying to use the visuals to point out immaterial features?
Architecture Photography — Between Documentation and Interpretation