African Art Outlook for August

African Art Outlook for August

Posted in Events

As interest in contemporary African art continues to grow, we identified several events that are worth visiting in August. From Cape Town to New York, 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

Frédéric Bruly Bouabré: World Unbound is still on view at MoMA in New York, United States until August 13, 2022

The first survey of Frédéric Bruly Bouabré’s work, and the first exhibition at MoMA devoted to an Ivorian artist, World Unbound spans the artist’s immense production from the 1970s until his death in 2014. A highlight of the exhibition is the Alphabet Bété – Bouabré’s invention of the first writing system for the Bété people, an ethnic group in present-day Côte d’Ivoire to which the artist belonged. Also on view are hundreds of postcard-size illustrations that he drew on cardboard packages of hair products he salvaged from his neighborhood in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire’s economic capital. Tracing the arc of Bouabré’s inventiveness – from the creation of his first writings and drawings focused on the the culture of the Bété, to scenes from everyday life exploring broader themes of democracy, women’s rights, and current affairs – the exhibition celebrates his commitment to collecting, preserving, and sharing knowledge as a way of understanding the world around us.

Tracey Rose: Shooting Down Babylon is still on view at the Zeitz MOCAA in Cape Town, South Africa until August 28, 2022

The title of the exhibition derives from an iconic installation, which reflects on varied exorcist and cleansing rituals from non-Western communities. The work points to several themes that stem from post-colonial entanglements such as repatriation, recompense and reckoning and epitomizes the wide-ranging medium and concerns that are prevalent in Rose’s practice. The exhibition will encompass various artistic media and multi-layered participatory elements, with the body and performativity being central to every aspect. For Rose, the body, often her own body, is a site for protest, outrage, resistance and pertinent discourse. It is a channel for the demonstration of exasperation, aggravation, disruption and paradox. Shooting Down Babylon will trace the artist’s trajectory from earlier interests in interrogating and exploding narrow identity tropes to her interest in the aesthetics of violence; her subversive performative interventions and recently an interest in processes of healing and rituality.

Cecilia Lamptey-Botchway: Make We Dance is still on view at Nubuke Foundation in Accra, Ghana until August 31, 2022

Cecilia Lamptey-Botchway’s show explores the idea of dance as a form of movement. In the show, various figures strike poses, swirling and dancing. The elements in these paintings bring together her different artistic strands. The cloth stamping and batik tradition motifs have previously appeared in the backgrounds of her earlier body of work. They were layered on the canvas as they would be on a fabric. Currently, they are freed from the constraints of the textile layout. The motifs interact with the figures. In the best parts, the motifs float behind and in front of the figures, complicating the background-foreground dichotomy. The figures themselves are adorned with mopping wool. Taking an anthropological onsite nonparticipant approach, Lamptey-Botchway observed her subjects in markets, churches, and dance classes, studying their movements and rendering them on canvases.

Group Exhibitions

Il Cono d’Ombra is still on view at Castel Nuovo in Naples, Italy until August 25, 2022

Despite the fact that, today, the removal of Italy’s colonial past has been compensated by a wealth of historic and academic studies compared to 20 years ago, the Il Cono d’Ombra (The Shadow Cone) exhibition is stimulated by the need to discover further (more experimental and less established) conceptual categories where they are not counter-narrative or decolonial representations which allow a rethinking of this historic experience in a changed socio-political context. Far from being a contested inheritance, Fascist colonial politics in Italy have been the subject of very few exhibition opportunities and very few critical reconfigurations of the collected museum objects. What is at stake in Il Cono d’Ombra is the desire to allow the African artists who have been working for many years on colonial and post-colonial issues, to create the displays of these cultural memories (idiosyncratic objects and heterogeneous montages).


12th Berlin Biennale will open at various locations in Berlin, Germany until September 18, 2022

In this edition entitled “Still Present!” and curated by Kader Attia, artists from around the globe engage with the legacies of modernity and the resulting state of planetary emergency. In addition to their works, the exhibition features historical documents, including political and activist publications from the Archiv der Avantgarden – Egidio Marzona (AdA). The contributions reveal connections between colonialism, fascism, and imperialism, and propose decolonial strategies for the future oriented around a set of questions: How can a decolonial ecology be shaped? What role can non-Western feminist movements play in the reappropriation of historical narratives? How can the debate on restitution be reinvented beyond the return of plundered goods? Can the field of emotion be reclaimed through art?


Posted in Events  |  August 06, 2022