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African Art Outlook for February

Posted in Events  |  February 03, 2018

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


Malick Sidibé: Mali Twist is still on view at Fondation Cartier in Paris, France until February 25, 2018

Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain presents Mali Twist, the largest ever solo exhibition of works by the renowned photographer Malick Sidibé (1935 – 2016). The title of the exhibition is a reference to the eponymous song of Malian singer and guitarist Boubacar Traoré, released in 1963. The exhibition which is conceived and directed by André Magnin in collaboration with Brigitte Ollier, presents for the first time a vast collection of vintage photographs and portraits of a timeless beauty from the artist’s archives along with iconic works. This exceptional collection of black-and-white photographs provides a thorough immersion in the life of the man who was nicknamed “the eye of Bamako.” The photographs reveal Malick Sidibé’s capacity, starting at the beginning of the 1960s, to grasp the vitality of the youth of Bamako and impose his unique style, recognized today throughout the world.

Grada Kilomba: The Most Beautiful Language is still on view at the Gallery Avenida da India in Lisbon, Portugal until March 4, 2018

The Most Beautiful Language is Grada Kilomba’s first major solo exhibition, bringing her transdisciplinary and singular practice of giving body, voice, and image to her own texts, using video installation, staged reading, performance, text collage, and sound installation together in one space. Often told that her mother tongue is ‘the most beautiful language’, the Portuguese artist questions: which bodies can represent that language? And which ‘languages’ do these bodies speak? With an intense, and precise beauty, Kilomba explores not only the colonial desires and contradictions of dominant narratives, but also unveils a space teemed with new languages. Languages that reveal the urgent voices of a repressed past and present; and oppose what the artist calls, a ‘double ignorance’: not knowing, and not having to know.

Transvangarde is still on view at the October Gallery in London, United Kingdom until March 3, 2018

The avant-garde movement has come to be used almost exclusively to describe Western artists, and it makes little sense when talking about artists from Africa or Asia. Recognising the damage this narrow scope has had on art history, the October Gallery first pioneered the idea of the trans-cultural avant-garde in the early eighties by showing cutting edge artists from all cultures around the world – a radical move for its time. Since 1996, the gallery has created and held shows on what they dub the Transvangarde movement. The latest installment of this movement is still taking place as an exhibition at the October Gallery and features boundary-breaking work from artists all over the globe, including: Tian Wei, Golnaz Fathi, Laila Shawa, Alexis Peskine, Eddy Kamuanga Ilunga, El Anatsui, Romuald Hazoumè, Govinda Sah ‘Azad’, James Barnor, Daniele Tamagni, and Kenji Yoshida.


2nd Afropolitan Festival will open at Bozar in Brussels, Belgium from February 23-25, 2018

Bozar presents the second edition of the Afropolitan festival: a multidiscipline programme over three days dedicated to Afropolitan art, creativity and reflection. The theme is Black Artlantic, based on sociologist Paul Gilroy’s concept of ‘Black Atlantic’. It focuses on artists and intellectuals with African roots from Europe and the United States. Film plays a significant role this year. Damon Davis will highlight the modern-day African-American struggle with his poignant documentary ‘Whose Streets’. Julie Dash will attend the showing of her cult film ‘Daughters of the Dust’ (1991), the first major cinema release ever by a black female filmmaker in the US. Beyoncé drew inspiration from this for her video for ‘Lemonade’. The Belgian-Congolese musician and polymath Baloji will premiere his first short fictional film ‘Kaniama tv’ and take part in a conversation with the audience.

Art Fairs

Cape Town Art Fair 2018 will open at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) in Cape Town, South Africa from February 16-18, 2018

Positioned as the leading art fair in Africa, CTAF2018 will include the foremost galleries from South Africa, the African continent, and abroad. Internationally renowned galleries such as Galerija Gregor Podnar (Germany), Perrotin (France) and Magnin-A (France) will be welcomed to Cape Town for the first time. But also with the return of leading galleries such as Galleria Minini, October Gallery, Galleria Continua, Primo Marella Gallery, and Tiwani Contemporary, among others. Highlighting the cutting edge of the African art scene are South African galleries including Goodman Gallery, Stevenson, Gallery MOMO, SMAC Gallery, WHATIFTHEWORLD, Blank and Everard Read CIRCA Gallery, amongst others. More broadly, important established and emerging galleries from the African continent such as Galerie Cecile Fakhoury (Ivory Coast), Afriart Gallery (Uganda), Circle Art Gallery (Kenya), First Floor Gallery Harare (Zimbabwe), ARTLabAfrica (Kenya) and Addis Fine Art (Ethiopia) will also contribute to the strong showing of the region’s art market.