Based in Swaziland, Yebo Contemporary Art Gallery functions as a much-needed platform for established and emerging artists to showcase and sell their work. Their upcoming exhibition 'Just Now! - Neither here nor there but getting somewhere: communication from artists exploring current issues,’ (curated by Aleta Armstrong and Khulekani Msweli) will open on 27th May as part of the MTN Bushfire programme, one of the most significant cultural events in Southern Africa.
Since ART AFRICA’s inception in September last year, our primary focus has been to shape a more comprehensive and well-rounded understanding of artistic practice from Africa and its diaspora, presented by a broader base of global contributors. Concluding our first year of publishing as ART AFRICA, we shift our focus to the U.S., following on from our Sub-Saharan Africa, European, Global South, and MENA region (Middle East and North Africa) focus.
The Chicago Cultural Centre (opened in 1897) is a Chicago landmark building that houses the city’s official reception venue where the Mayor of Chicago has welcomed presidents and royalty, diplomats and community leaders. The centre, which is home to two magnificent stained-glass domes, frequently hosts free music, dance and theatre events, lectures, films, and art exhibitions. Recently the centre hosted ‘Present Standard,’ a group exhibition comprised of twenty-five contemporary U.S-based Latino artists who are, in one way or another, identified as natives. Edra Soto, Chicago-based artist, curator and gallery director and Josue Pellot, an artist based in Chicago, curated the exhibition.
Invited by Art Basel for Non-Profit Visual Arts Organisations, the lettera27 Foundation launched its first Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign on April 27th in order to host the sixth chapter of AtWork, this time in Addis Ababa. Conceived by the Italian non-profit foundation lettera27 and Simon Njami, AtWork is an itinerant educational artistic format that contributes to building a new generation of thinkers, using the creative process to stimulate critical thinking and debate amongst its participants.
As the Director of the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture, Oussama Rifahi has played an integral role in the development of the arts and culture sector worldwide, including the development of Abu Dhabi's ever expanding business model for tourism and culture. During this interview he speaks to arts academic and enthusiast Sophia Olivia Sanan about the successes and challenges faced by the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture, and the role that art plays in re-aligning 'outsiders' perceptions of life in the Middle East, following the migration crisis and the ongoing conflict in places like Syria.
In Faith47’s exhibition ‘Aqua Regalia – Chapter II’ at Jonathan LeVine Gallery – her debut solo show in New York – the artist’s signature grisaille renderings of animals, figures and intimate gestures mingle with an expansive collection of objects gathered in her home country of South Africa as well as during travels throughout Asia, Europe and the Caribbean.
Strauss & Co's upcoming auction 'Important South African and International Art' - set to take place on Monday 23rd May at the Wanderers Club in Johannesburg - will be headlined by a striking portrait, returning from Australia, of one of Irma Stern’s closest friends. Irma Stern’s captivating 1943 painting, Portrait of Freda Feldman in Basuto Hat, is back in South Africa. The work is being offered at Strauss & Co’s Johannesburg auction on 23 May 2016. It is expected to fetch between R5 000 000 and R7 000 000. The portrait is accompanied by the original Basotho hat (or mokorotlo) worn by the sitter.
"It is very tempting to get lost in the surface of MJ Lourens’ paintings, to dwell there, to remain floating among the glistening city lights and sweeping sunset hues. And why not?" asked curator Charis de Kock at the opening of MJ Lourens' exhibition 'Proximity by Proxy' at the Barnard Gallery in Cape Town.
For the last fourteen years Readers Den, a Cape Town-based comic shop founded by Mahdi and Nizar Abrahams, have organised an open and animated event known as the Free Comic Book Day (FCBD). In response to the event’s explosive growth and popularity over the last five years, last weekend saw the first iteration of FanCon: Cape Town Comic Con, an extension of the original event held at The Lookout, a larger (but not large enough) venue at the V&A Waterfront.
From the 4 - 7 May 2016, the Stadtkuratorin Hamburg held the 'What Time Is It on the Clock of the World*' festival and symposium that brought together artists, musicians and performers as well as international theoreticians and activists to discuss questions around racism and sexism "in relation to the (in)visibility of current migration, stereotyped gender roles and material reproduction conditions."
The festival was conceived by Sophie Goltz (Artistic Director Stadtkuratorin Hamburg) in collaboration with Hengameh Yaghoobifarah (journalist, editor, Berlin) and the title comes from an expression of the U.S. human rights activist, philosopher, and feminist Grace Lee Boggs (1915-2015), who campaigned for social change, for the workers movement, and for the rights of the Afro-American population. In her 1974 book 'Revolution and Evolution in the Twentieth Century,' Boggs shows how conditions change and that if progressive ideas don’t change to keep up, they become limitations to human and social development.
To give context to this necessary festival and symposium, we've chosen to highlight the work of the only artist from the African continent in attendance, Tracey Rose. Rose took an original and challenging puppet show to Hamburg, titled …don’t shoot the messenger!” Mnemosyne defends Mercury (45 min), performed in both German and English. The script for the show is published below, alongside images from the live performance.
Nearly thirty artists from across the continent have already come on board by donating artworks for auction at the Amref Health Africa ArtBall to be held in New York on Wednesday the 8th of June 2016. The works have been donated to the #AmrefArtBall in order to help raise funds for Amref Health Africa's innovative grassroot programmes that span across thirty-five countries and touch millions of people throughout sub-Saharan Africa every year. In this article curator Atim Annette Oton tells us about the curatorial framework for the event, and what we can expect to see.
1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair closed its second New York edition on Sunday, May 8, 2016 amid strong sales and attendance. This edition welcomed over 6,500 visitors, including museum directors, curators, and collectors affiliated with over 20 museums and nonprofit institutions. Over 80% of participating galleries sold works on the preview day of the fair.
By the fair’s conclusion, multiple booths were either sold out or close to sold out.
À la rencontre de Vortex, Inc. Née à Lagos, au Nigéria, cette société de contenu créatif et de divertissement est en train de changer le visage de la production de bandes dessinées en Afrique. Grâce à Vortex, la culture africaine trouve un moyen d'expression unique, essentiellement par le biais du langage visuel emblématique de la bande dessinée. Afin d'exalter le continent, Vortex mise sur l'exportation d'histoires africaines créées par des Africains vers un public plus large et publie des récits prenant le ton et les saveurs épicées de la Patrie.
ART AFRICA a pris contact avec les organisateurs de deux festivals de films africains contemporains, The New Africa Film Festival et shnit International Shortfilmfestival – déjà initiateurs de grands changements – afin de faciliter le dialogue: où les organisations pourraient se poser leurs propres questions entre elles pour en savoir plus sur leurs projets respectifs et des chevauchements propices.
En 1940, alors âgé de seize ans, James Baldwin frappe à la porte de l'appartement austère du peintre Beauford Delaney au 181 Greene Street à Soho. Baldwin n'était pas encore l'homme de lettres et activiste que l'on connaît aujourd'hui, mais plutôt un adolescent maigrichon effectuant, comme il l'écrit plus tard, un "travail dickensien" après l'école dans un atelier de misère sur Canal Street. Delaney, de son côté, était alors trentenaire et assez célèbre pour que le magazine Life lui consacre un article, ce qui était une performance dans cette Amérique d'avant la télévision. Deux ans avant qu'il ne rencontre son mentor, Life mentionnait Delaney dans un article intitulé 'Noirs : Les minorités posent problème aux États-Unis également.'
In February 2016, we welcomed artist Malala Andrialavidrazana to Cape Town for the second iteration of THAT ART FAIR, an initiative of ART AFRICA magazine. As one of our Featured Artists, she exhibited her dreamy cartographical compositions, inspiring viewers to question the mercurial nature of official narratives and categorical documentation, like maps, anthropological and scientific texts, and even currency. Critic and arts journalist, Ashraf Jamal, explores the nuances of Andrialavidrazana's vivid work.
Over the passed weekend, South Africa experienced its first ever FanCon: Cape Town Comic Con at the V & A Waterfront (7 - 8 May 2016). The inaugural event for South African comic fans and self-confessed 'geeks' clearly indicates the growth in the local comic industry over the last few years, and for every artist that is seen, there are twice as many (if not more) who remain unseen apart from a core following.
In this vein, Su Opperman spoke to underground art activist kEda Gomes about her influences, her practice and her crossover interests between comic art, street art and illustration.
Initiated in 1996 by the Republic of Senegal and the Ministry of Culture and Communication, Dak’Art, the Dakar Biennale, is the first major international art event dedicated to the Contemporary African creation. This year marks the 12th edition of the event, and will take place from May 3 to July 11, 2016 under the title ‘The City in the Blue Daylight’, a name given to it by the Artistic Director Simon Njami.
1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair, a leading transnational platform dedicated to promoting Africa and African-related art practices and projects, will return to New York from May 6 - 8, 2016, with press and collector previews on Thursday, May 5, 2016. The second U.S. iteration of the fair will take place at the 25,000 square-foot manufacturing warehouse Pioneer Works in Red Hook, Brooklyn, where the New York edition of 1:54 launched in 2015, and will coincide with Frieze Art Week.
This edition, hosted at the AVA Gallery in Cape Town, follows on previous such exhibitions, where Skattie presented the works of then largely unknown artists Laura Windvogel, Unathi Mkonto and Thania Petersen, all of who have gone on to become acclaimed artists in their own right.
Patricia Caille teaches in the Information-Communication department a the University of Strasbourg. As an academic she has coordinated multiple research projects in relation to Maghreb cinema, co-organised two conferences for Panorama de cinémas du Maghreb et du Moyen Orient and recently took part in a roundtable at Carthage Film Festival. ART AFRICA spoke to Patricia about the history of cinema in North Africa, the European lens, and the importance of festivals such as Carthage.
'Human labour seems to be mutating into a service industry, as does love in an age of overt sexualisation. Are labour and love, generous and dangerous as they can be, virtues? Or are they out of fashion?' writes Marie-Hélène Gutberlet on the current exhibition, 'A Labour of Love' at the Weltkulturen Museum in Frankfurt.
Admirers of Irma Stern living in Cape Town will have a rare opportunity to view the important painting, Portrait of Freda Feldman in Basotho Hat, before it goes under the hammer at a Strauss & Co auction in Johannesburg on 23 May 2016. The painting will be on view at the artist’s former Cape Town home, The Firs, now the UCT Irma Stern Museum, on 4 and 5 May (Wednesday and Thursday) between 10am and 5pm.
In conjunction with this preview, Strauss & Co Art Specialists are running an Art Valuation Day at the Museum, to raise funds for the museum. Members of the public are invited to bring their artworks to the museum to be valued.
Nearly thirty artists from across the continent have already come on board by donating artworks for auction at the Amref Health Africa ArtBall to be held in New York on Wednesday the 8th of June 2016. The works have been donated to the #AmrefArtBall in order to help raise funds for Amref Health Africa's innovative grassroot programmes that span across thirty-five countries and touch millions of people throughout sub-Saharan Africa every year.
Two concurrent, intersecting exhibitions are set to open this evening at the Njelele Art Station in Harare, Zimbabwe: 'Indlovukazi,' by Buhlebezwe Siwani, and Sikhumbuzo Makandula's 'In Search of a Nation,' in collaboration with Moffat Takadiwa. ART AFRICA spoke to Makandula about his performance, the origins of the exhibition, and the personal and post-colonial narratives that connect these artists and their respective practices.
Anna Roussillon is a filmmaker and academic. Born in Beirut and raised in Cairo, she currently teaches in Lyon, translates literary texts and participates in radio programmes while working on various film projects related to Egypt. Je Suis Le Peuple, her first feature documentary, follows the story of Farraj and his family, and was given the top award at the Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival. It also received the Grand Prix Janine Bazin for Best Feature Film at Entrevues Belfort Film Festival and is part of the ACID (Association du Cinéma Indépendant pour sa Diffusion) programme at Cannes.