African Art Outlook for December

African Art Outlook for December

Posted in Events

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


Cauleen Smith: Give it or leave it is still on view at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia, PA, United States until December 23, 2018

The Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania is presenting a solo exhibition of film, video, and sculpture by filmmaker and artist Cauleen Smith. The exhibition title, “Give it or leave it”, is a revision of the threat “take it or leave it.” The artist proposes a new rule for a better world: creating something, offering it, and gifting it – regardless if the gesture is accepted or rejected. “Give it or leave it” is a rule for the self, not an ultimatum for the other, born of this spirit of generosity, hospitality, and selflessness. Smith finds the roots of this spirit in Alice Coltrane, Simon Rodia’s Watts Towers, Noah Purifoy, and Rebecca Cox Jackson, and the fact they did not turn their backs on the here and now, nor on the cities around them. They each in their own way wanted prospective utopian gestures to be imbedded in current events and social communities.

Lina Iris Viktor: A Haven. A Hell. A Dream Deferred. is still on view at the New Orleans Museum of Art in New Orleans, LA, United States until January 6, 2019

Lina Iris Viktor is widely recognized for her exploration of art’s connection to history, spirituality, and prophecy. Recasting factual and fantastical narratives surrounding America’s involvement in the founding of Liberia, the exhibition explores a mythicized history of the West African nation. Established as an act of American “altruism” following the abolition of slavery, the Republic of Liberia appears as an uneasy utopia, both a paradise lost and a cautionary tale on the pathology of colonization. Central to Viktor’s gilded portraits is the mercurial figure of the Libyan Sibyll – from the Latin sibylla meaning prophetess. The Sibyll represents an ancient figure of fate and foresight, later invoked by eighteenth-century abolitionists as the predictor of the trans-Atlantic slave trade.

Njideka Akunyili Crosby: Dwell, Aso Ebi is still on view at the Hayward Gallery in London, United Kingdom until February 1, 2019

As part of its 50th anniversary celebration, the Hayward Gallery Billboard features Dwell: Aso Ebi (2017) by Nigerian-born artist Njideka Akunyili Crosby. The billboard is installed on the side of London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall, which faces the gallery. The artist combines painting, drawing, fabric and found imagery to create dense and complex works on paper. In Dwell: Aso Ebi – reproduced here as a digital print on vinyl – she explores ‘transcultural’ identity and the experience of living between two places. Deeply engaged with the history of painting, Akunyili Crosby is also concerned with making work that ‘speaks to now’, and to her own experience. The result is a sophisticated form of sampling that sees the artist ‘nodding and winking’ to the traditions that she has steeped in, while simultaneously subverting or adapting them for her own purposes.


CCA Biennale 2018 is still open at the Cornell University in Ithaca, NY, United States until December 23, 2018

The Cornell Council for the Arts (CCA) is hosting the third CCA Biennial, under the theme “Duration: Passage, Persistence, Survival.” Curated by CCA Director, Timothy Murray, the 2018 CCA Biennial features Carrie Mae Weems and Xu Bing along with 18 installations and performances across the Cornell campus in Ithaca, New York. This edition aims to stage artistic environments that might provoke conversation about the persistence of passage, from environments to communities, while emphasizing the challenge of survival in hostile socio-ecological climates. The idea of “duration” lies at the core of conceptual, architectural, and media art. This foregrounds the artistic horizons of both temporality and corporeity, indicating the persistence and continued presence of the material world through which the historical and virtual are experienced in their potentiality.


Let’s Talk about Images is taking place at the Fotogalleriet in Oslo, Norway until January 19, 2019

Let’s Talk about Images is Fotogalleriet’s new discursive programme. The weekly events are grounded in photographic and cinematographic works produced in recent years as examples of artistic practices that critically engage society and its representations. At the same time, the programme explores the embodiment of the Image and the abandonment of spectatorship. Through artists’ presentations, discussions and screenings, Let’s Talk about Images aims to analyse and explore the world of the perceptible and to rethink how ocular-centrism has taken over the human reign of senses. Strategies discussed in this series of programmes will range from cultural hacking, the construction and negotiation of identities in relation to normative power structures, asserting presence by absence of words, objects, victims and bodies, techno-utopian visions, creative storytelling, and narrative rifts.


Posted in Events  |  December 01, 2018