Dak'Art portrays the influence of globalisation on African art
On May 7, 2004 the sixth biennial for contemporary African art,
'Dak'Art', will commence in Dakar, the capital of Senegal. This
event has grown in the past decade to become one of the most important
stages for African art, attracting visitors from all of Africa and
around the world. The theme of the sixth edition is 'Contemporary
African art tried by globalisation: problems, difficulties and prospectives'.
'Le Touriste', Performative
Film Installation from
Gregg Smith, one of the participants of the biennial
What is special about the biennial is that there is no curator
who determines the content of the exposition. Artists can register
themselves as participants. A committee of international specialists
selects the artists who will be allowed to exhibit their work from
the applicants. Sara Diamond, initiator of the Canadian new media
institute Banff, is currently chairing this committee. The committee
selected 33 artists and five designers from sixteen African countries.
Although the biennial is emphatically focused on African art
and bringing African artists together, individual expositions also
present work by artists from elsewhere. Three curators were invited
to compile individual expositions: Yacuoba Konaté from the
Ivory Coast, Brazilian artist Ivo Mesquita, and Hans Ulrich Obrist
Recurring themes of the biennial include urban esthetics, digital
art, art critique and emerging cultural spots in Africa. These will
be the topics of discussion during the 'Meeting and Exchanging'
programme. New this year is the Dak'Art Lab, a platform for digital
art for scientists, technicians and artists. The Lab is intended
to become a nesting ground for digital artistic projects. Websites
will also be made for artists in order to enlarge the presence of
African art on the web.
Often equally interesting as the official programme is the extensive
'Off programme', with more than one hundred large and small-sized
art projects and presentations throughout the entire city.
Dak’Art receives half of its budget from the Senegal government.
Other substantial support is given by the European Union.
The event will be concluded on 7 June.