Syowia Kyambi: Kaspale is still open at the Nairobi Contemporary Art Institute in Nairobi, Kenya until June 30, 2023
Drawn from the ongoing Kaspale project, the works in the exhibition include photography, video, sculpture, multimedia installation, and performance created between 2019 and 2023. Kaspale is a trickster character created by Kyambi to intervene in situations where the burden of often violent histories has rendered them difficult to articulate and engage with. This body of work, which began in 2018 with research into the history of the Amani Research Station in Usambara, Tanzania and the archives of the MARKK Museum, Hamburg, has expanded into a series of encounters and interventions in which Kaspale shuttles back and forth in time and space, appearing in real and imagined spaces, always with a mind to speak and act where speech and action are otherwise curtailed.
Nolan Oswald Dennis is still open at the Goodman Gallery in Johannesburg, South Africa until July 1, 2023
The exhibition showcases a constellation of studio models, sketches and prototypes from recent experimental black-earth-system research by Nolan Oswald Dennis. Over the past two years, Dennis has been working on a series of earth-system orientated research projects in collaboration with various institutions. Earth-system refers to the 5 subsystems which produce the environment we are all familiar with and dependent on: the hydrosphere (aquatic systems), the geosphere (overground and underground land systems), the atmosphere (air and gaseous systems), the biosphere (living systems) and the cryosphere (frozen systems at the poles). The concept of a black-earth-system adds a sixth system to this structure. Simply put the idea of a black-earth-system allows us to identify the role of oppressive power in earth-systems as well as the counter-practices to this power. Black-earth-system works aim to see beyond the horizon of a world overdetermined by oppressive power.
Godfried Donkor: Battle Royale II is still on view at Gallery 1957 in London, United Kingdom until July 8, 2023
Battle Royale marks the culmination of over 20 years of research by Donkor into colonialism, slavery, intercontinental trade relationships and the socio-historical relations between Africa, Europe and the Caribbean. Using the history of boxing and its origin within Ghana as the cornerstones of his extensive research, Donkor explores its social-historical relevance and its relationship with the slave trade across the UK, USA and Ghana. The artist cites events such as battles royal, where white men would force black slaves to fight to the death until there was only one man standing. From aristocrats fighting peasants in the UK, to plantation owners staging matches between slaves in the US, Donkor’s work examines the social-historical relevance of boxing as the art of self-defense.
Bag Factory: Reflections is still on view at the Bag Factory Artists’ Studios in Johannesburg, South Africa until June 23, 2023
Comprised of photography, video, painting, printmaking, and mixed media artworks, the exhibition spotlights the progress of participating artists by showcasing their newer works created between 2022 and 2023. The exhibition is focused on celebrating the work of dynamic visiting artists who have joined the Bag Factory family within the past five years through awards or residencies. The title of this exhibition speaks to the idea of reflecting whilst simultaneously appreciating where the artists are currently and looking forward as a community. Even as these artists have made strides in their professional careers since being at Bag Factory, this return to the yellow roller doors fortifies that the Bag Factory is always with them on their journeys.
Sharjah Biennial 15 is still open at various locations in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates until June 11, 2023
Entitled Thinking Historically in the Present, Sharjah Biennial 15 (SB15) reflects on the late Okwui Enwezor’s visionary work, which transformed contemporary art and established an ambitious intellectual project that has influenced the evolution of institutions and biennials around the world, including the Sharjah Biennial. Bringing together more than 150 artists from over 70 countries, SB15 will take place in 16 venues across the emirate of Sharjah. For Enwezor, the contemporary art exhibition provided a means to engage with history, politics and society in our global present. He envisioned the invitation to curate this edition of Sharjah Biennial as a way to reflect on and contribute to the Biennial’s history and that of the overarching Foundation, and their role in addressing the need for institutional models outside of the West that support dialogue and the production and presentation of contemporary art responsive to our times.