Sufferhead Original is a craft beer inspired by the food tastes and experiences of Africans living in Europe, especially Germany, which communicates some of the received stereotypes, politics of difference, and integration through the brewing and branding of the beer. Sufferhead beer is developed through interactions with these African communities and their feedback on topics including migration, assimilation, and multiculturalism. The name “Sufferhead” was drawn from the 1981 track by Fela Kuti, Original Suffer Head, in which Fela sings about the dire political and economic circumstances in Nigeria at that time.
Emeka Ogboh’s continuously evolving stout has adopted myriad tropes of advertising, including a website, infomercial, and social media platforms. Ogboh’s billboard on The Power Plant’s south façade is presented in conjunction with his solo exhibition inside the gallery, on view until May 13, 2018. WER HAT ANGST VOR SCHWARZ? (Who is afraid of Black?) references a controversial German schoolyard game, “Wer hat Angst vorm schwarzen Mann?” (Who is afraid of the Black man?). The image was shot on the premises of the Baden-Baden Casino, one of the oldest casinos in Europe. Its protagonists are people with an African background who live in the town of Baden-Baden and its surrounding areas.
Using the language of commercial advertising photography, Ogboh’s image complicates the realms between art and marketing while making connections between Germany’s notions of purity, its African immigrant community, and the immigrant experience as a whole.
Presented in partnership with The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery