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African Art Outlook for January

Publié dans Events  |  janvier 06, 2018

African Art Outlook for January
As interest in contemporary African art continues to grow, we identified several events that are worth visiting in January. From Bamako to São Paulo, we’ve got you covered with a quick guide of what to discover this month. So, we’ve rounded up our favorite events of January featuring African and Africa related art practices and projects.

Exhibitions

Basquiat: Boom for Real is still on view at the Barbican Centre in London, United Kingdom until January 28, 2018

Basquiat: Boom for Real is the first large-scale exhibition in the UK of the work of American artist Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960­1988). One of the most significant painters of the 20th century, Basquiat came of age in the late 1970s in the post-punk underground art scene in downtown New York. The exhibition includes a partial reconstruction of Basquiat’s first body of exhibited work, made for Diego Cortez’s watershed group show New York / New Wave at P.S.1 in February 1981. Fifteen works are brought together for the first time in over 35 years, allowing visitors to understand how Basquiat so quickly won the admiration of fellow artists and critics. The exhibition continues with an exploration of his energetic, often collaborative work as the prodigy of the downtown scene; from the birth of SAMO© to his relationship with Warhol. In the downstairs spaces, new scholarship sheds light on some of his most acclaimed paintings and drawings. A famously self-taught artist, Basquiat sampled from an extraordinary breadth of source material – from anatomical drawings to bebop jazz to silent film – but many of these reference points have remained relatively opaque until now. With the support of the Basquiat family, the curators have conducted extensive new research, which will allow these important works to be understood as never before.

Edson Chagas: Luanda, Encyclopedic City is still on view at Zeitz MOCAA in Cape Town, South Africa until January 13, 2018

Luanda, Encyclopedic City consists of twenty-three stacks of five thousand mass-produced images from the artist’s photographic series Found Not Taken (2009-2013), an ongoing figurative investigation on the urban context of Luanda. This site-specific intervention in the museum – the transportation tunnels of the grain silo, once a key component of the early industrial framework of South Africa will mark the first time that this installation has been exhibited since winning the Golden Lion Award at the 55th Venice Biennale (2013). The installation unravels the latent complexity inherent to the theme of the 55th Biennale: Encyclopedic Palace. When a palace is encyclopedic, it becomes a city: in fact, the city incorporates an encyclopedic multiplicity of spatial conditions and situations within a single complex entity. Edson Chagas’ artworks are exhibited in a random order. Each visitor is invited to walk through the space and to collect the artworks and thus assemble their own encyclopedia.

Being Her(e) is still on view at Galeria do Banco Económico in Luanda, Angola until January 31, 2018

Being Her(e) is the first in a series of touring exhibitions conceptualised by KAURU Contemporary Art Project. Curated by Paula Nascimento and Violet Nantume, the Luanda exhibition extends the conversations started last year in Johannesburg over Africa Month with Being Her(e): Meditations on African Femininities. The curators also continue the dialogue begun in 2015 in Pretoria with Being and Becoming: Complexities of the African Identity, an exhibition that sought to raise questions about the various layers of African identity and the urgency of forging new, unorthodox ways of seeing and being African. Being Her(e) features works by some of the most prominent and emerging female artists from Africa and the African diaspora. Their works are questioning preconceived ideas about femininity and identity, while exploring various forms of representation of the female body.

Biennials

11th African Biennale of Photography, Bamako Encounters is still open at the Bamako National Museum in Bamako, Mali until January 31, 2018

Since 1994, the Bamako Encounters have been co-organized by the Malian Ministry of Culture and the Institut français. The biennial is the leading international platform dedicated to contemporary photography and new images in Africa. Under the direction of Samuel Sidibé, Director of the National Museum of Mali and curated by cultural consultant and independent curator Marie-Ann Yemsi, the biennial’s theme this year is called Afrotopia. This edition is offering a series of exhibitions, collateral events, professional workshops, and an educational programme. The Pan-African exhibition, at the National Museum of Mali, will be the beating heart of the Biennale. 40 proposals have been chosen among over 300 applications from artists and collectives based across the African continent or in its diasporas. Through their great diversity of approaches and visual languages, the artists generate alternative narratives about Africa that build new bonds with the past, shed light on the present and open perspectives for the future. This exhibition will be shown in the Netherlands in April 2018 in partnership with the Museum of World Cultures.

Festivals

20th Contemporary Art Festival Sesc_Videobrasil is still open at Sesc Pompeia in São Paulo, Brazil until January 14, 2018

The 20th Contemporary Art Festival Sesc_Videobrasil is presenting debates on the cultural production of the Global South, in an edition that mirrors both comprehensively and poetically the countless crises that have lately challenged contemporary society. The Festival is also featuring performances and public programs which are jointly occupying several spaces at Sesc Pompeia. For the actual exhibition, the curators have selected works by 50 artists from 25 countries, 15 of whom are Brazilian. The exhibition features videos, paintings, installations, sculptures, photographs, engravings and even artificial plants forming a small acclimatization garden. These diverse works reveal a multiplicity of worldviews, stemming from a society which, seeming to sense its own demise, resorts to its origins to avoid such a fate. This edition’s programming also includes performances, public program activities, artists’ workshops, and educational activities for groups and families.