Apr. 2012 Art Exhibition Recommendations

Another Africa’s top picks for exhibitions in April around the globe, from Dakar to Johannesburg, Berlin, Paris, New York and more contemporary Africana abounds.

If you missed the March 2012 recommendations, check that edition for shows extending through the month of April. Highlights include Nothing to Lose, a posthumous exhibition of Rotmi Fani-Kayode’s photography and his first-ever solo show in New York,  in Paris Abdoulaye Konaté solo show, Tentures Teintures and in The Hague Pieter Hugo’s first comprehensive photographic oeuvre presentation, This Must Be The Place and more…



NGKB | In Other Words
Mar.3 – Apr.15


James Webb, Know Thy Worth 2001 | 2010

In Other Words| The black market of translations – negotiating contemporary cultures delves into the operations of translation – reading, understanding, interpreting and rewriting a foreign text; endeavours that can be understood as a cultural strategy to cross into other cultures. The exhibition will display a market of the foreign and otherness, inviting artists that explore the tongue of the Other and work in-between languages and cultures, penetrating, embodying and contrabanding Others’ words.

Artists | Adel Abidin, Marwa Arsanios, Kader Attia, Julien Audebert, Elena Bellantoni, Emilio Chapela Pérez, Cherimus, Julian D’Angiolillo, Detanico Lain, Yoel Díaz Vázquez, Braco Dimitrijević, Mounir Fatmi, Ofir Feldman, Graciela Guerrero Weisson, Christoph Keller, Moridja Kitenge Banza, Daniel Knorr, Takehito Koganezawa, Oliver Laric, Karl Larsson, Adrian Lohmüller, Miguel Monroy, Muntadas, Timo Nasseri, Olaf Nicolai, Jorge Pedro Nuñez, Nana Oforiatta-Ayim, Timea Oravecz, Bernardo Oyarzún, Soledad Pinto, Rosângela Rennó, Gabriel Rossell Santillán/Nik Nowak, Sona Safaei-Sooreh, Mariateresa Sartori, Demian Schopf, Lorenzo Scotto di Luzio, Paolo W. Tamburella, Mihalis Theodosiadis, Dani Umpi, Sandra Vásquez de la Horra, Humberto Vélez, Luca Vitone, James Webb, Dilek Winchester a.o.

NGBK – Neue Gesellschaft für bildende Kunst e.V. | Oranienstraße 25 10999 Berlin, Germany | More info


Other Berlin Highlights

Siemon Allen at Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin  in Found in Translation until April 9 | more info



Birmingham Museum | Style Africa
Mar.31 – Sep.2


 © Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, 2011.0046.28 GTP Wax Print, Ghana, 2011.  Photo |  David Rowan

Style Africa, is an exhibition that celebrates and explores the rich textile heritage of English-speaking West African nations in particular Ghana, Nigeria and Sierra Leone. In focus are the changing traditions of woven, embroidered, printed and dyed clothing and textiles produced from the early 20th century to 2011. Using kente cloth, adinkra cloth, adire cloth (tie and dye), aso oke, as well as wax print cloth collected in Ghana in 2011, Style Africa focuses on different textile techniques and the ways in which clothing can communicate identity and individual style. The exhibition also includes contemporary outfits designed in the UK and made using West African prints. Young people from the community are invited to join the curatorial team to create new ways of presenting three significant West African textile collections, that of museum, the University of Birmingham and Craftspace. Style Africa is part of the London 2012 Inspire programme.

Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery | Chamberlain Square, Birmingham B3 3DH | More info | Facebook 



Stevenson Gallery | Trade Routes Over Time
~ Jul.15


Isaac Julien, Fantôme Créole Series (Cinema Cinema), 2005. Courtesy of the artist and Victoria Miro Gallery, London © Isaac Julien.

Revisiting the polarised Johannesburg biennale  organised by curator Okuwi Enwezor in 1997, Stevenson Gallery presents Trade Routes Over Time, the first installment of the gallery’s Trade Routes Project, marking the 15th anniversary of the second and last – Johannesburg Biennale.

Featured are works previously shown, those pieces central to the respective artists’ development though not widely seen; as well as other works unfamiliar to the local consciousness, along with new works by three South African artists made specifically for this show. This exhibition explores how a contextual shift of 15 years affects the way one approaches works of art, and secondly how the development of these artists’ careers over time affects the way one looks at the second Johannesburg Biennale.

Artists | Diller + Scofidio, Stan Douglas, Olafur Eliasson, Ângela Ferreira, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Pierre Huyghe, Isaac Julien, Wangechi Mutu, Odili Donald Odita, Jo Ractliffe, Yinka Shonibare MBE and Penny Siopis.

Stevenson Gallery | Buchanan Building, 160 Sir Lowry Road, Woodstock, Cape Town | More info



Raw Material Company  | Chronique d’une Révolte
Apr.11 – May.5


Chronicles of a Revolt, photographs of a season of protest photographically profiles a period of political unrest in Senegal yet also celebrates the commitment of photographers playing a leading role to receive and disseminate information. A chronicle that has marred the nation since June 23, 2011 until the recent elections held this past February & March 2012. This group show is curated by Koyoh Kouoh.

Photographers | Alioune Mbaye, Amadou Mbaye, Antoine Tempe, Sheikh Ahmed Tidiane Ndiaye, Cristof E,
Elias Aba Milki, Elise Fitte-Duval, Erick Ahounou, Gabriela Barnuevo, James Daniel Ly, Jean-Baptiste Joire, Mamadou Gomis, Rebecca Blackwell, Rose Skelton, Sidi Mohamed Kandji,
Sidy Yansané Sylvain Cherkaoui, Tamsir Ndir and Toure Behan.

Raw Material Company | 4074 bis Sicap Amitié 2; BP 22170, – Dakar, Senegal | More info | Facebook



Goethe-Institute Library| The Independent Publishing Project
Mar.15 – Apr.26


The Independent Publishing Project, a second iteration, is a workshop series and exhibition aimed at gathering people and objects around the idea of self or small scale publishing in a South African context.
Focusing on collaboration and conversation among contemporary practitioners, the exhibition will feature a select reading room and a working studio. Guest participants to occupy the space include Josh Ginsburg, Rangoato Hlasane, Mark Kannemeyer, CUSS (Ravi Govender, Jamal Nxedlana, Nikki Comninos and Zamani Xolo), and Sebastian Borckenhagen, amongst others.

Goethe-Institute | 119 Jan Smuts Ave (entrance on New Port Road), Parkwood 2193, Johannesburg, South Africa | More info | Facebook


Momo Gallery | Joël Mpah Dooh
Mar.15 – Apr.16


Joël Mpah Dooh. Courtesy of the artist and Momo Gallery, Johannesburg.

Let’s Talk a Walk, a solo show of works by Joël Mpah Dooh an artist exploring the fragility of  individual human identity and how it reinvents itself whilst moving and evolving in the city. His representation of life is an embodiment of the continuity and supremacy of family, friends and the sustenance they provide. It is impossible to separate past history – the line of ancestors and kinfolk- with the present.

Gallery Momo | 52 7th Avenue, Randburg 2193, Johannesburg |  More info | Facebook 



Jack Bell Gallery | Kura Shomali
Apr.5 – May.6


Kura Shomali. Courtesy of  Jack Bell Gallery, London.

Kura Shomali’s Cassius Clay Ali Boom Boom Ye, in collaboration with André Magnin presents new work by Shomali. This his first solo exhibition in London, features new pieces wherein Shomali appropriates recognisable images by African renown photographers Seydou Keïta, Malick Sidibé, Jean Depara, Samuel Fosso…. Expect to see Africa remixed, as Shomali presents his unique visual manner of ‘digesting’ the megalopolis of Kinsasha where he lives and works.

Private viewing | April 4  6 – 9pm  | Live performance by A.J. Holmes & The Hackney Empire feat. guest appearance by Afrikan Boy

Jack Bell Gallery, London | 13 Mason’s Yard, St. James’s, London SW1Y 6B  | More info


Tiwani Contemporary | Sokari Douglas Camp CBE 
Apr.6 – May.19


Sokari Douglas Camp, Coca Cola Bird, 2011. Courtesy of the artist and Tiwani Contemporary. Photo | Sal Idriss.

It’s Personal, presents new sculptural works on an introspective  rather than political perspective by Sokari Douglas Camp. Critically renowned for her towering steel sculptures, Douglas Camp’s work is largely informed by both her life in London as well as a celebration of her Nigerian heritage. In addition to her more renown works, rarer pieces such as  Coca-Cola Bird and Middle Age Middle Rage will be on view. This exhibition presents a continuation of the artist’s exploration of life, but presented from a more intimate and biographical perspective. Her steel sculptures, metal drawings,  fusion of colour and found objects are both an honest examination of emotional transitions as well as celebration of maturity, power and independence.

Tiwani Contemporary | 16 Little Portland Street, London, W1W 8BP | More info | Facebook 


Other London Highlights

 Yinka Shonibare, MBE at Crisis Commission Exhibition at Somerset House, London until April 22 | more info 



Australian Center for the Moving Image | William Kentridge
Mar.8 – May.27


William Kentridge, Drawing for the film ‘Stereoscope’, 1999; Museum of Modern Art, New York; © 2012 William Kentridge.

William Kentridge: Five Themes features over 60 works ranging from animations, drawings and prints to theatre models, sculptures and books. An unmissable survey of a phenomenal artistic talent, it explores five key themes of Kentridge’s career, including his direction of The Magic Flute for the renowned Belgian opera house, La Monnaie, and the animated films he developed for a 2010 production of The Nose at the Metropolitan Opera in New York

Australian Centre for the Moving Image | ACMI | Federation Square, Flinders Street, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia | More info



Fondazione Stelline | Marlene Dumas
Mar.13 – Jun.17


Marlene Dumas, Angels in Uniform, 2012. Courtesy of the artist. Photo © Peter Cox.


Sorte, a solo show presenting both recent works, some pieces exhibited for the first time, and historical drawings and watercolours by Marlene Dumas. The exhibition focuses on the figure of mother and child inspired by the venue, the former orphanage and boarding school, La Stelline and its archival images of Pier Paolo Pasolini, his mother Susanna and Anna Magnani. A constant dialectic between the physical and the metaphysical pervades all the works: Marlene Dumas brings not only icons or religious symbols, but universal signs in which faith unites with tragedy and love interacts with grief.

Fondazione Stelline | corso Magenta, 61 – 20123,  Milan, Italy | More info


David Zwirner | Stan Douglas
Mar.22 _ Apr.28


Stan Douglas, Capoeira, 1974, 2012. Courtesy of the artist and David Zwirner, New York.


Disco Angola, a new show by Stan Douglas exploring the dichotomy between the disco underground of 1970’s New York City and the liberation struggle in Angola. Douglas employs his doppelgänger , a fictional photo-journalist he calls his ‘heteronym’ to revisit two seminal moments in time, re-creating images that attempt to reveal subtle parallels of utopian spaces destroyed by the intrusion of outsiders. Researching archival footage, clothing and decor, Douglas creates eight mise-en-scène’s probing the veracity of photojournalism and the decisive moment.

David Zwirner  | 525 West 19th Street, New York, NY 10011 | More info | Facebook


Schenectady New York | Mandeville Gallery| African Photography, For Whose Eyes?Constructing and Deconstructing Identities
Mar.15 – May.13


Yto Barrada, Girl in Red, Tangier. Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Polaris, Paris.

An exhibition engaging the cultural and historical assumptions oscillating within the field of African photography. The eye behind the lens has long influenced perceptions within the general consciousness. In the case of Africa, photography has had a potent role in the objectification of the subject caught between its viewfinder. From colonial era photography, the missionary postcard’s profound images of difference between Europe and Africa however distorted, remain imbedded in the cultural memory of society. The camera has gone from being an instrument of the European colonialist, to that of the studio ‘dream factory’ in African cities into the current era where contemporary imagery depict a complex view on the continent. The work of 15 internationally renown contemporary African photographers juxtaposed with missionary photography presents a starting point to trace the prevailing stereotypes that percolate beneath the surface; thereby tackling the notion that – framing a culture from without the meaning of that culture becomes distorted.  The major part of this exhibition is devoted to contemporary African artists who grapple with vanishing places, traditions and cultures, while defining new ones.

Artists | Philip Kwame Apagya (Ghana), Yto Barrada (Morocco), Nabil Boutros (Egypt), Samuel Fosso (Camaroon), David Goldblatt (South Africa), Seydou Keïta (Mali), Boubacar Touré Mandémory (Senegal), Zwelethu Mthethwa (South Africa), Grace Ndiritu (Kenya), Obie Oberholzer (South Africa), Berni Searle (South Africa), Malick Sidibé (Mali), Djibril Sy (Senegal), Guy Tillim (South Africa), and Iké Udé, (Nigeria)

Including 80 Missionary Postcards from Yale Divinity Library & 1950’s era covers from the seminal South African magazine Drum.

Mandeville Gallery | Nott Memorial |Union College 807 Union Street, Schenectady NY 12308  | More info


Musée Dapper | Mascarades et Carnavals
~ Jul.15


Kongo / Vili – Angola. Mask and costume Ndunga. © Collection Wereldmuseum, Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Photo | Erik Hesmerg.

Mascarades et Carnavals, a juxtaposition of African mask-wearing traditions and Caribbean carnival festivities. Through the commonality that both practices are experienced as rituals that elicite the formation of communities, viewers will have the chance to discover the characteristics of these two worlds – their symbolic/religious, societal, political and aesthetic implications. Many of these masks will be shown complete with their astonishing costumes.

Musée Dapper | 35 bis, rue Paul Valéry  75116 Paris  | More info


Other Paris Highlights

Neon, Who’s afraid of red, yellow and blue ? at La Maison Rouge  until 20 May 2012 with works from  Adel Abdessemed, Jean-Michel Alberola, Kendell Geers and Thomas Mulcaire. With more than one hundred artworks on view, this show represents La Maison Rouge’s first major international exhibition of neon art from the 1940s to the present day | more info

La Triennale 2012, Intense Proximity investigates what it means to be active as an artist working today, in the context of a globalised and diverse French art scene. Art Directed by Okwui Enwezor the various exhibitions intending to set off on a journey exploring the nodes where art and ethnography converge in a renewal of fascination and estrangement. The goal, to shift from the idea of national space, as a constituted physical location, to a frontier space that constantly assumes new morphologies and new models of categorisation (local, national, trans-national, geo-political, denational, pure, contaminated, etc.). Enwezor is joined by associate curators Abdellah Karoum (Rabat-based  l’appartement 22) and Mélanie Bouteloup, Émilie Renard, and Claire Staebler. A selection of some of the artists included Ahmed BouananiMeshac GabaGuy TillimAli EssafiBarthélémy ToguoChris OfiliAdel AbdessemedYto BarradaSelma & Sofiane OuissiMutu Wangechi Mutu Batoul S’HimiYounes RahmounBouchra KhaliliNicholas HloboHassan KhanBasim MagdyNeil BeloufaEl AnatsuiOtobong NkangaYo-Yo Gonthier. | more info


Parc Saint Léger, Contemporary art centre| Atlas critique
Mar.16 – May.27


Nástio Mosquito, Continent, 2010. Video still, 15 min. Courtesy of the artist.

The Atlas Critique exhibition participates in a spatial shift within art, inspired by the writings of geographers, philosophers, post-colonial thinkers or theorists of decoloniality. The exhibition posits that spatial issues have now become a privileged site for questioning contemporary politics, and uses radical geography, drifts and diversions, diagrammatic thought, conceptual and imaginative cartographies as alternative tools for the production of knowledges, narratives and realities.

Artists | Francis Alÿs, Border Art Workshop / Taller de Arte Fronterizo, Erick Beltrán, Berger & Berger, Mark Boulos, Lewis Carroll / Henry Holiday, Chto delat ?, Fernand Deligny, Michael Druks, Claire Fontaine, Internacional Errorista, Pedro Lasch, Vincent Meessen, Nástio Mosquito, Estefanía Peñafiel Loaiza, Lia Perjovschi, Radek Community + Dmitri Gutov, Philippe Rekacewicz, R.E.P. (Revolutionary Experimental Space) Group, Allan Sekula & Noël Burch, Société réaliste, Stalker, Endre Tót, Adriana Varejão, David Wojnarowicz, James Wentzy & AIDS Community Television

Parc Saint Léger, Contemporary art centre | Avenue Conti 58320 Pougues-les-Eaux, France | More info

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