Dawit L. Petros: Recollections will be on view at Tiwani Contemporary in London, United Kingdom from July 5-29, 2023
The exhibition continues Petros’ inquiries into the complex relationship between African and European histories of colonialism and modernity. In Recollections, selected works highlight colonial publications that the artist has been collecting since 2010 e.g. maps, aeronautic manuals, postcards, and photographs. These are reimagined and converted into multi-scalar works across an array of media. A monumental mural manifests an imperial structure in unstable, ambiguous ways. A wall sculpture proposes a form for contested territorial claims. Performative, staged photographs juxtapose subjects with charged, symbolic landscapes. These acts of appropriation and transformation are gestures of cultural and ideological resistance intended to reveal the ambiguities and dissonances inherent to colonial documents.
Ulysses Jenkins: Without Your Interpretation is still on view at the Julia Stoschek Foundation in Berlin, Germany until July 30, 2023
Organized closely with the artist – including the digitization of a sprawling archive and conversations with Ulysses Jenkins and his collaborators – the exhibition encompasses a broad range of over fifteen videos and almost sixty works in total that showcase his collaborations, mural paintings, photography, and performances, revealing the scope of Jenkins’s practice. Beginning as a painter and muralist, Jenkins was introduced to video just as the first consumer cameras were becoming available. He quickly seized upon television technology as a means to broadcast alternative and critical depictions of multi-culturalism, citing the catalyst of Melvin Van Peebles’s Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song (1971) and its call to Black filmmakers to control their subjecthood by controlling in turn the media that depicts them.
Joël Andrianomearisoa: The Five Continents of All Our Desires is still on view at the Zeitz MOCAA in Cape Town, South Africa until August 6, 2023
This exhibition is a celebration of relations and connections. For Andrianomearisoa, the work speaks to both migration and language – and the ongoing search for zones of engagement and desire. He constructs a view of the world that is fragile, ambiguous, and open-ended about new possibilities for human contact. The awe-inspiring work consists of six large-scale sculptures that form a suspended archipelago in a poetic reference to land masses and geographies of the imagination, and are constructed from Andrianomearisoa’s signature material, black silk paper. Installed in the figurative and literal ‘heart’ of the museum building, the work is the first site-specific commission to grace Zeitz MOCAA’s atrium in two years.
Isaac Kariuki: Artist Talk will be held at the distant.gallery in Nairobi, Kenya on July 26, 2023
Africa’s already hostile and bizarre relationship with social media found a new antagonist in February 2020 when videos emerged on Weibo of young children from Malawi chanting racist slogans in Mandarin as requested by patrons. The children, under the ruse of learning a new language, then became points of mockery and amusement. Another node in the web of exploited African children emerged. In Isaac Kariuki’s new show, the fractured politics of observing and being observed online are gambled with in a YouTube-style carrousel of African entertainers and their spectators. The traditional tourist attraction of bone-breaking and contortioning leaves the carnival for the murky terrain of reaction vloggers. Who is performing, and to what end, in a lineage of colonialism and survival occupation are questioned.
Robert Townsend: The Five Heartbeats will take place at the Walker Cinema in Minneapolis, United States on July 4, 2023
At the start of the 1990s, a generation of Black music defined by Motown and other regional soul and R&B scenes was transforming the path hip-hop was to follow. Created at the height of this change and produced by a major studio, as well as written by Robert Townsend and Keenen Ivory Wayans, The Five Heartbeats tracks the rise and fall of five friends singing in a close-knit group over several decades. Though fictional, the film draws from biographical elements of several artists from this period, including The Dells, whose music appears on the soundtrack. The Five Heartbeats is a musical drama film which was released to North American audiences in 1991.