African Art Outlook for January

African Art Outlook for January

Posted in Events

As interest in contemporary African art continues to grow, we identified several events that are worth visiting in January. From Johannesburg 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 January featuring African and Africa related art projects you might enjoy.


John Akomfrah: Vertigo Sea is still on view at Bildmuseet in Umea, Sweden until January 17, 2016.

Vertigo Sea is a three-screen film installation that forms a meditation on whaling, the environment and our relationship with the sea. Shot by John Akomfrah on the island of Skye, the Faroe Islands, and the Northern regions of Norway, the production was jointly supported by Bildmuseet and BAC-Baltic Art Center. The film was on display as part of Okwui Enwezor’s exhibition ‘All the World’s Futures’ at the Venice Biennale, Italy. As a first touring venue, the film had its Swedish premiere at Bildmuseet on the last October. For thirty years, spanning cinema, television and gallery-based installations, John Akomfrah’s work has engaged with questions of memory and identity, creating works which give a voice to the legacy of the African diaspora in Europe. His poetic and polyphonic films create sensual audiovisual experiences that stretch the boundaries of the documentary genre and the format of the film essay.

Zanele Muholi: Somnyama Ngonyama is still on view at the Stevenson Gallery in Johannesburg, South Africa until January 29, 2016.

In contrast to her life-long project of documenting members of her community, one in which she normally has the privilege of witnessing her subjects presentation of themselves according to their own self-image, with this new work she turns her camera on herself. The exhibition is a presentation of new self-portraits of Zanele Muholi. Experimenting with different characters, Muholi portrays herself in a highly stylized and performative language that references the history of black and white fashion photography. Taken in different locations whilst travelling in South Africa, America and Europe, Muholi describes this process as one of self-discovery, and so through this series we get to see and experience the many ways she imagines herself. Along with these self-portraits, the exhibition features a series of photographs from Muholi's ongoing essay titled Brave Beauties.

But he doesn’t have anything on! is still on view at Commune.1 in Cape Town, South Africa until January 21, 2016.

Historically and in the now textiles have had a significant influence on South African and African art practice. Currently this woven entity is being engaged in a variety of ways: as a tool to conceal or reveal identity, to subvert or challenge authority, to reclaim history, to camouflage, as a placeholder for the corporeal body and to bring about an ideological transformation. This exhibition brings together a group of contemporary artists who employ the visual language of textiles as a tool to explore expressions of individual, cultural, political, and social identity. The title of the exhibition is taken from Hans Christian Andersen’s ‘The Emperor’s New Clothes’, a well-known tale about a vain king tricked by swindlers into wearing a suit of the finest invisible fabric. All the king’s ministers and town’s folk keep up the pretense until a child breaks the illusion by exclaiming: ‘But he doesn’t have anything on!’ The tale migrates across various cultures reshaping itself with each retelling in the manner of oral folktales.

Art Fairs

London Art Fair will open at Business Design Centre in London, United Kingdom from January 20 to 24, 2016.

The celebrated fair dedicated to Modern British and contemporary art returns to the Business Design Centre for its 28th edition. Continuing with their museum partnership, this year's fair partner, the Jerwood Gallery in Hastings will show important works from their collection in a specially curated show, 'Coast'. 'Dialogues', a collaborative initiative bringing together invited galleries and their emerging artists, will be curated this year by Natasha Hoare. And Photo50 will showcase photographic works loosely based on Jean-Luc Godard's film, Masculin Féminin.

Outsider Art Fair will open at Metropolitan Pavilion in New York, United States from January 21 to 24, 2016.

The Outsider Art Fair was a welcome addition to the art-world calendar when it debuted in 1993, and it has only become more popular, finding new traction under the leadership of Andrew Edlin and his company, Wide Open Arts, which helped to triple fair attendance in 2013. Showing pieces by untrained artists working in a variety of media, available at a range of prices, the fair now attracts a growing crowd of art professionals, collectors, and even some gallerists who also exhibit in the art-fair big leagues like Basel and the Armory. But all that doesn’t mean the fair has conformed or lost its appeal. Expect this year’s edition to be as fresh as ever.


Posted in Events  |  January 02, 2016