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African Art Outlook for August

Posted in Events  |  August 03, 2019

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

Solo Exhibitions

Zanele Muholi: Faces and Phases 13 is still on view at Stevenson Gallery in Johannesburg, South Africa until August 30, 2019

Founded 13 years ago in recognition of a lack of black queer visibility, Muholi’s Faces and Phases series has grown into a living archive of black and white photographic portraits of more than 500 participants in various expressions of their sexuality and gender identity. In 2019, Faces and Phases 13 embraces a reflective stance to honour some of the milestones reached by this activist project, while acknowledging the long road ahead before full emancipation may be achieved, including the total eradication of hate crimes against members of the LGBTQIA+ communities. The project visually lobbies for the inclusion of and non-discrimination against LGBTQIA+ individuals in economic, academic, social and other spheres of society. Faces and Phases was born in 2006, 10 years after the new South African constitution was promulgated, effectively decriminalising homosexuality, and months before the legalisation of same-sex marriage in South Africa, the first African country to enact such a law while others slowly follow suit.

Lhola Amira: Abalozi Bayeza / Os Deuses Estão Chegando is still on view at SMAC Gallery in Johannesburg, South Africa until August 31, 2019

This body of work is born from a series of Appearances by Lhola Amira in Bahia and surrounding Brazil, over a period of weeks in late 2018. Translating from Zulu and Portuguese as “The Gods Are Coming” and comprising of new installations and photographic narratives, Abalozi Bayeza / Os Deuses Estão Chegando presents an introduction to Amira’s ongoing engagement with Brazil. “In Abalozi Bayeza by Lhola Amira we are taken on a journey defined as umzila (a mark or track made by dragging any heavy body along the ground) wamakhosi (a king or a person of royalty), where we become witnesses to the loss of land and our collective identities in the diaspora of Bahia. The seashore becomes the vista where many who left the African lands were traded as slaves to become meagre labour in the Caribbean and the Americas. Amira traces the tracks of those who were forcibly displaced and forced into permanent exile through the gift of imilozi (whistles),” writes Sikhumbuzo Makandula.

Pascale Marthine Tayou: Tornado is still on vew at Mu.ZEE in Oostende, Belgium until September 1, 2019

Tornado is Pascale Marthine Tayou’s solo exhibition in Mu.ZEE. It is the conclusion of an intense collaboration that began in early 2018 with a ‘prologue’ entitled Ik ben Gentenaar. During this time – and in anticipation of the exhibition – an artwork was added at regular intervals to the collection presentations in Mu.ZEE. Tayou challenged the museum not to play it safe but to start working with him from day one. In this sense, Mu.ZEE functions as a laboratory, where a number of ideas can be tested spatially and reactions are quick. Under the guise of injecting movement into something rigid, the artist refers to activating what he calls the ‘frustrated’ museum space. The concept not only applies to the physical space as an exhibition gallery, but also for the mental space that is needed to build a bridge to our society.

Group Exhibitions

Mask: The Art of Transformation is still on view at Kunstmuseum Bonn in Bonn, Germany until August 25, 2019

Masks have always fascinated people in all eras and cultures. When placed upon the face, a mask changes its wearer into someone or something new while simultaneously offering protection and connecting the individual with the outer world. Especially in the visual arts of modernism, in the movements of Dada, Surrealism and Expressionism, there was great interest in masks. Today, the contemporary art focusses with remarkable frequency on the mask and its paradoxical possibilities of revelation and concealment, of disguise and self-optimization, thereby treating themes of particular importance in a society that continually generates new faces in both the real and virtual realms. This exhibition of international modern and contemporary art turns its attention to the masked individual as well as to the performative act of the individual wearing a mask in its social and political context.


N’GOLÁ Biennial 2019 will take place at various locations in São Tomé and Príncipe until August 18, 2019

N’GOLÁ celebrates the power and beauty of African arts and culture and the way African artists and designers contribute to the future. Renny Ramakers, the curator of this 8th edition, extends the biennial’s previous boundaries by gaining a new multidisciplinary and multicultural character. Herewith, N’GOLÁ is embracing not solely the visual arts, but also fashion, architecture, music, gastronomy, technology, crafts and nature. During the months of July and August 2019, N’GOLÁ brings together local communities, travelers and artists with the island’s project spaces. N’GOLÁ aims to present contemporary African art as a unifying factor between the tiny islands of São Tomé e Príncipe and the African continent. N’GOLÁ highlights the power of African passion, beauty and crafts, not only stimulating enthusiasm for, and interest in the world of contemporary African art, but also challenging the creativity of the local art community.