Reconstructing the Primordial House

North Carolina Museum of Art

On View: October 6, 2022 - December 31, 2024

Reconstructing the Primordial House is a multimedia installation by Mikael Owunna and Marques Redd exploring West African creation myths from Dogon and Igbo historical contexts. Together they present a mythical reconstruction of Obi Mbu, the Primordial House of Igbo cosmology, which is a symbol of the Primordial Androgynous Blackness of space in its original pure state of monolithic harmony.

The heart of the installation is a 25ft x 16 ft projection of the film Obi Mbu (The Primordial House) (co-directed by Owunna and Marques Redd), which focuses on the mysteries of a pillared chamber at the house’s center. This chamber is reproduced in the installation as a freestanding column adorned with traditional Igbo body and architectural motifs known as uli. Framing the external boundary to the revived Primordial House is a gateway formed by a Dogon granary door and lock from the North Carolina Museum of Art’s collection. On the side walls are two non-fungible tokens (NFTs), Amma’s Womb (left) and Amma Opens Their Eyes (right), animations depicting a Dogon understanding of emergence from the Primordial Androgynous Blackness. Invoking a return to this monolithic state, Owunna and Redd’s installation is a nuanced call for the revival of traditional African knowledge systems.

Film on View

NFTs on View

Amma Opens Their Eyes

NFT Link: