The power of culture
current affairs
 october2004
nederlands
functiemenu
2003
current
themes
agendas
specials
archive
about this website

Another view of contemporary African art

Not the context but the work of art itself forms the basis for the Africa Remix exhibition of contemporary African art.

Head curator of the exhibition Simon Njami and his team selected works of art by 88 artists from 25 African countries. The exhibition tries to answer the question: 'What is contemporary African art?', without seeking refuge in the usual ethnic or geographic classifications or in the usual approach of grouping works by discipline.

This new approach groups the works into three combinations of themes, namely 'identity and history', 'body and soul' and 'town and land'. These themes are used to create interesting interconnections between the rich diversity of ideas and forms, which range from sculptures made from recycled materials to high-tech video installations.

Mthethwa, Zwelethu - Untitled, 2003 - Photographie, 80 x 103 cm
Courtesy Jack Shainman Gallery, New York  

Jane Alexander's theatrical installation, in which grey people with animal heads stand on reddish brown sand staring into the distance without making any contact with each other, shows the tension present in post-apartheid South Africa. Zwelethu Mthethwa (South Africa) exhibits photo portraits of workers in a sugarcane field. Their beautiful composition and colours make the photos a visual feast. At the same time, the workers' expressions raise questions about their situation and relationship to the landscape in which they are standing. The humorous sketches by Abu Bakarr Mansaray (Sierra Leone) show imaginary machines and designs, complete with all types of calculations and surprising comments.

The exhibition's basic premise creates a different viewpoint, one detached from an ethnic, exotic or political approach. In this way too, questions about identity, the relationship between Africa and Europe, social injustice and religion are succinctly raised. The exhibition's basic approach of putting the context in the background shows all the more that African artists can still connect with this same context.

Africa Remix can be seen from 24 July to 7 November 2004 at the Museum Kunst Palast in Düsseldorf, Germany, from where it will move to London, Paris and Tokyo.

Gertrude Flentge

Links for this article
bullet

Museum Kunst Palast

bullet

Foto Tour through the Exhibition

 

october 2004
bullet

Partnerships between art and the business world in South Africa

bullet

'Immigrants are here to stay'

bullet

Brazilian law designed to promote its national film and TV industry

bullet

The first year of collaboration between the ECF and Hivos: 'Making things happen'

bullet

Restoration of Moroccan mosque marks the first anniversary of the CER's foundation

bullet

Tropenmuseum Junior subsidised after all

  Opinion  
 

Out of Europe

  Policy by donor countries  
 

Italy

  Review  
 

Another view of contemporary African art

  Worldsite  
 

Culture and Public Action

Website set up in connection with the book Culture and Public Action

  Special  
 

Cinema in Africa

Five articles on African film

   
 

Archive Current Affairs

'Current Affairs' since september 2001

menu