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African Art Outlook for December

Posted in Events  |  December 04, 2021

African Art Outlook for December
Since the global expansion of the covid-19, many contemporary African art events have been cancelled, postponed, or transitioned to virtual exhibitions. Some galleries are opened for exhibition visits by appointment. From Berlin to Chicago, 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.

Exhibitions

Ulysses Jenkins: Without Your Interpretation is still on view at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia, United States until December 30, 2021

The Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) at the University of Pennsylvania is pleased to present Ulysses Jenkins: Without Your Interpretation, the first major retrospective on the work of ground-breaking video/performance artist Ulysses Jenkins, on view at ICA fall 2021. A pivotal influence on contemporary art for over 50 years, Ulysses Jenkins (b.1946 Los Angeles, lives Los Angeles) is a pioneering video artist who emerged in the late-1970s. His video and media work is remarkable for its fusion of forms to conjure vibrant expressions of how image, sound and cultural iconography inform representation. Using archival footage, photographs, image processing, and elegiac soundtracks Jenkins pulls together various strands of thought to construct an “other” history that consistently interrogates questions of race and gender as they relate to ritual, history, and the power of the state.

Jennifer Packer: The Eye Is Not Satisfied With Seeing is still on view at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, United States until December 31, 2021

Jennifer Packer’s paintings and drawings combine observation, memory, and improvisation. Featuring over thirty works from the past decade, The Eye Is Not Satisfied With Seeing is the largest survey of Packer’s practice to date. Her intimate renderings of friends, family, and flowers evoke the art historical genres of portraiture and still life, while also highlighting the politics of representation. Her paintings, which were recently seen at the Whitney in the 2019 biennial, slide between the fidelity of depiction and the freedom of abstraction. This avowal of both clarity and opacity endows her paintings with the same complexity she sees in the Black sitters that populate her art—and the world. “My inclination to paint,” Packer has said, “especially from life, is a completely political one. We belong here. We deserve to be seen and acknowledged in real time. We deserve to be heard and to be imaged with shameless generosity and accuracy.”

Michael Salu: Red Earth is still on view at Studio Hanniball in Berlin, Germany until January 7, 2022

The exhibition “RED EARTH” examines how non-Western cultures can be more adequately represented in the increasingly digitalized, virtual world. Like the technological and philosophical advancements of the enlightenment period and the industrial revolution, the digital age, founded in data and code, utilizes other cultures as resources to fuel its autonomous thinking but overlooks their schools of thought. Yet, the relationship between Western and non-Western cultures and the physical and the digital world is not of total detachment but complex exchange and dependence. In this area of tension, a constant back and forth translation between the two realms takes place, and the artist Michael Salu represents this complex process. The British-born Nigerian, who grew up between two cultures, investigates the ideological overlaps that get lost or inadequately passed on in translation.

Biennials

4th Chicago Architecture Biennial is still open at various locations in Chicago, United States until December 18, 2021

This edition will respond to an urban design framework that proposes connecting community residents, architects, and designers to develop and create spaces that reflect the needs of communities and neighborhoods. Over 80 contributors from more than 18 countries will respond to this framework through site-specific architectural projects, exhibitions, and programs across eight neighborhoods in Chicago and in the digital sphere. Curated by the Biennial’s 2021 Artistic Director – designer, researcher, and educator David Brown – The Available City will present projects and programs that ask and respond to the question of who gets to participate in the design of the city by exploring new perspectives and approaches to policies. The Available City illuminates the potential for immediate new possibilities, highlights improvisational organizers of the city, and underscores the exponential impact of small elements in aggregate.

Art Fairs

Art Basel Miami Beach will open at the Miami Beach Convention Center in Miami, United States from December 2-4, 2021

Art Basel Miami Beach is an annual art show held at Miami Beach, first staged in 2002. Art Basel, which stages three major fairs each year – in Hong Kong, Basel and Miami Beach – focuses on modern and contemporary art and puts more than 253 galleries from across the globe in front of the art world’s top curators, museums and collectors. The week of Art Basel has become a major draw for Miami, with parties, satellite fairs and major events being held in conjunction with the show – and now known collectively as Miami Art Week. Art Basel Miami Beach comprises five main sections: Galleries (works from leading galleries), Edition (editioned pieces), Nova (works created within the last three years), Positions (dedicated to emerging artists) and Survey (works created before the year 2000). This year, the fair also presents 16 large-scale artworks in Meridians; 25 curated exhibitions as part of its Kabinett sector; and 10 moderated panels as part of its Conversations series.