Nov 2012 | Art Exhibition Recommendations

Another Africa’s top picks for exhibitions in November around the globe. From Amsterdam, Antananarivo, Cotonou, Doha, Paris, Savannah, St. Petersburg and more contemporary Africana abounds.

Discover the dialogue within the realm of contemporary Africana, the hot topics being proposed by the artists and curators, that are actively widening the intellectual field and encouraging dialogue.


Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam | Hollandaise
Nov.3 – Jan.6

Godfried Donkor. The Currency of Ntoma (fabric), two-channel video projection, 2012 (video still)

Godfried Donkor. The Currency of Ntoma (fabric), two-channel video projection, 2012 (video still).

HOLLANDAISE looks at the long-standing economic relation between The Netherlands and the African continent through a critical, contemporary art exhibition. Built on a creative and analytical examination of historical, global developments and their local implications in relation to iconic Dutch wax cloth, curator Koyo Kouoh invites fives artists working with textile as a medium to reflect and create new works for this exhibition which will go on to travel to Dakar, Senegal. Hollandaise, this brightly coloured fabric regarded as typically African, is however the result of complex globalization processes that right down to this day exhibit colonial features.

Artists | Godfried Donkor (Ghana), Abdoulaye Konaté (Mali), Wendelien van Oldenborgh (The Netherlands), Willem de Rooij (The Netherlands), Billie Zangewa (Malawi).

Stedejlijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam (SMBA) has produced a special edition Dutch & English newsletter to accompany the exhibition including an introduction to Hollandaise by the curator,Koyo Kouoh followed by contributions from PhD researcher/artist Senam Okudezto, ‘A Dutch Wax Interview,’ and political scientist Françoise Vergès writes on ‘The Invention of An African Fabric.’  

SMBA Newsletter No. 130 Hollandaise | Read


Stedejlijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam | Rozenstraat 59 1016 NN Amsterdam | More info



no comment | Pierrot Men | Il était une femme…
Nov.7 – End of Dec


Installation image courtesy of no comment.

Following the launch of renown Malagasy photographer Pierrot Men’s latest book, Il était une femme…, publisher No Comment editions showcases Men’s images along with a video interview of the artist. Pierrot Men’s images capture moments of life, faces, expressions that poetically tell the lives of women in Madagascar.


no comment | 2 rue Ratianarivo, Antsahavola – Antananarivo 101  Madagascar | More info



Nov.24 – Dec.4


The 2012 inaugural program kicks off the annual week long program promoting contemporary art in Cape Town. Initiated by Contemporary Art Trust Development, the participant-run program includes events, exhibitions, and festivals showcasing the vibrance of the local contemporary art scene.


1. Official ART WEEK CAPE TOWN launch party | Nov.24

2. Maboneng Township Arts Experience | Nov.24 – Nov.25

3. City Bowl gallery openings | Nov.26 – Nov. 28

4.  Opening of Mikhael Subotzky’s Standard Bank Young Artist Award Exhibition, Retinal Shift | Nov. 28 Wednesday 28 November, 6pm, Iziko South African National Gallery

5. Woodstock gallery openings Nov.29

6. ArtWalk open studio programme [Woodstock, Salt River, Observatory] | Nov.30 – Dec.1

7. Party at A Word of Art | Nov.30 Friday 30

8. GIPCA Live Art Festival | Nov.30 – Dec.4


For details on each of the above events, with access maps and more, visit | download the brochure | facebook.


Goodman Gallery | Spring Show
Nov.10 – Dec.7


Rose Shakinovsky PC, 2007/9 2 wooden sculptures, magnifying glass, postcard. Courtesy of the Artist and Goodman Gallery.

Spring Show, a group exhibition featuring many of Goodman galleries stable of artists including Clive van den Berg, Stuart Bird, Adam Broomberg & Oliver Chanarin, Kudzanai Chiurai, Claire Gavronsky, Kendell Geers, David Goldblatt, Moshekwa Langa, Gerhard Marx, Brett Murray, Sam Nhlengethwa, Walter Oltmann, Rose Shakinovsky, Mikhael Subotzky and Sue Williamson.


Goodman Gallery | 3rd Floor, Fairweather House,176 Sir Lowry Rd, Woodstock, Cape Town | More info


Stevenson Gallery | Fiction as Fiction (or, A Ninth Johannesburg Biennale)
Nov.29 – Jan.12.2013


Robin Rhode. Yard, 2011, digital animation, duration 2 min 40 sec. Courtesy of Robin Rhode and Stevenson, Cape Town | Johannesburg.

Fiction as Fiction (or, A Ninth Johannesburg Biennale), the third exhibition in the year-long Trade Routes Project, in which the gallery pays tribute to the 1997 Johannesburg Biennale. The idea of a fictional biennale is a potentially rewarding one when examining the history and impact of the Johannesburg Biennale. Its second edition, organised by Okwui Enwezor in 1997, was also its last. With the exhibition’s closure, South Africa witnessed a temporary end to the presentation of international contemporary art within its borders. How would (local) art history have been altered if the Johannesburg Biennale had not closed down? What if we imagine there was a third incarnation in 1999? A fourth in 2001? A fifth, after some delay, in 2004?

What if the ninth Johannesburg Biennale were slated to take place at the end of 2012? What might the biennale be about? Which artists might be in the show? In asking these kinds of questions, one invites responses that are in essence fictional. Perhaps, then, there is no better subject for a fictional biennale than fiction itself.

Artists |Yto Barrada, Yael Bartana, Dineo Seshee Bopape, Chimurenga, Peter Clarke, Ângela Ferreira, Yang Fudong, Nicholas Hlobo, Robin Rhode, Penny Siopis, Frohawk Two Feathers, Kemang Wa Lehulere, Lynette Yiadom-Boakye.

* Nov.30 | Walkabout | Curator Joost Bosland will give a walkabout of the exhibition.


Stevenson Gallery | Buchanan Building, 160 Sir Lowry Road, Woodstock 7925, Cape Town | More info



Musée Nicéphore Niépce | Archives & Bruno Boudjelal | Algérie, clos comme on ferme un livre?
Oct.20 – Jan.20.2013


Bruno Boudjelal. Alger series “Frantz Fanon”. Courtesy of the Artist and Agence VU.

Archives & Algérie, clos comme on ferme un livre? (Algeria, closed like closing a book?) is a two part exhibition. The first, includes colonial era military images and those taken during 1990s from the museums’s archives. Intended to try to make sense of  the historical implications of a French colonial presence in Algeria, through the 130 original documents presented. The second features a body of work developed by French-Algerian photographer, Bruno Boudjelal. From the late 1990’s Boudjelal has with the support of the museum, returned on numerous sojourns to the country of his ancestry, a nation that has endured political discord. He has worked to formulate his own contemporary narrative in contrast to that envisioned by writers and journalists, combining narration and documentation to create a narrative with images attempting to approach a highly complex situation. From a journey that began when Bruno went to find his father’s family,  Bruno created a photographic diary recording his thoughts and feelings, and documenting the living conditions of the Algerian people he encountered along the way to make this body of a work in which he pays tribute to Frantz Fanon. The exhibition features  approximately 75 black and white images.


Musée Nicéphore Niépce | 28, Quai des Messageries, 1100 Chalon sur Saône, France | More info



B.P.S.22 space for contemporary creation | Intranquillités
Oct.6 – Dec.16


“Intranquillités: Charif Benhelima, Mohamed El Baz, mounir fatmi,” 2012. Exhibition view. © Leslie Artamonow

Intranquillités, a title borrowed from Portuguese poet Fernando Pessoa, evokes a state of anxiety, restlessness, even insecurity. Yet the idea behind the title differs completely insofar as it represents a call for alertness, for keeping senses and sensibility awake. Curiosity (as a tool for emancipation), free speech and the quest for crosses’ origins drive this group exhibit. The works of Moroccan artists Charif Benhelima, Mohamed El Baz and Mounir Fatmi draw from the curiosity and will to know, to understand the situations that we live in and see everyday in our globalised world. Questioning and deconstructing realities built through media, these artworks invite us to stand still, yet activated inducing an agitating curiosity that alone guarantees our conscience.


B.P.S.22 space for contemporary creation | Boulevard Solvay 22, 6000 Charleroi, Belgium | More info


Biennale Bénin 2012 | Inventing the World: The Artist as Citizen
Nov.8 – Jan.13.2013


“Projet Voyage” 2012, Meschac gaba and Hermann Pitz. Courtesy of the Artists and Gallery Lumentravo (Amsterdam) and In Situ (Paris).

Inventing the World: The Artist as Citizen takes public initiatives that have occurred in Benin in recent years such as Meschac Gaba’s Musée de l’Art et de la Vie Active (MAVA) and Zinkpè’s Boulev’art as a starting point to interrogate the notion of the artist as citizen both as an aesthetic idea and an ethical project. Biennale Bénin 2012 will present new commissions and existing works by 36 artists as part of the international exhibition and feature nearly a hundred additional artists in the Special Projects, Encounters and Workshops.

International Exhibition | The main venue for the international exhibition is Centre Kora, a former commercial center in Cotonou. Other venues include l’Institut Français, Venue X, Venue Y, Venue B.

Artists |  Adel Abdessemed, Ebtisam Abdulaziz,  Sofia Aguiar and Tomás Colaço, Malala Andrialavidrazana, Owusu Ankomah, Edwige Aplogan, Aston, Azankpo, Ismaïl Bahri, Frédéric Bruly Bouabré, Gabriella Ciancimino, Soly Cissé, , Nestor Da, Badr El Hammami, Meschac Gaba, Pélagie Gbaguidi, Dor Guez, Camille Henrot, Invisible Borders (Emeka Okereke), Toril Johannessen, Syl.Pâris.Kouton, Adrian Missika, Yoshinari Nishio, Otobong Nkanga, Hermann Pitz, Gérard Quenum, Karim Rafi, Younès Rahmoun, Raqs Media Collective, Tchif, Jean-Paul Thibeau, Toguo ,Cyprien Tokoudagba, Vincent+Feria, Zinkpè.


More info | | facebook



Raw Material Company  | Project 35
Oct.25 – Dec.1


Tracey Rose, “The Cockpit,” 2008. Video still. Courtesy the Artist.

Raw Material Company and Independent Curators International (ICI) present Project 35, a four chapter evolving exhibition of video works selected by 35 international curators and designed in a flexible presentation format, reflecting the diversity and unique nature of the many international art spaces ICI partners with.

Each of the invited curators select one artist’s video that they think is important for contemporary art audiences around the world. The result heralds the new decade, and showcases an international compilation of works that reveal the global reach that video has achieved as a contemporary art medium today. The works are presented in 4 chapters, each containing 8 to 9 videos. In the first chapter, 9 emerging and established curators who collectively have worked in countries as disparate as Colombia, Egypt, Japan, Lithuania, Nigeria, South Africa and Vietnam truly represent the international range of the project. The collective desire for communication—for sharing perspectives—is evident through the subjects dealt with by each artist. These range from reinterpretations of philosophical propositions to uprisings and protests in South Africa, propaganda news broadcasts in China, and emerging youth culture in Ho Chi Minh City. The works also reveal the diversity of approaches artists are now taking to the medium, using various animation techniques, as well as borrowing from the language of cinema, performance, and YouTube to produce work that weave between documentary and fiction.


Raw Material Company | 4074 bis Sicap Amitié 2 BP 22710 Dakar, Senegal | More info



Arab Museum of Modern Art | Tea With Nefertiti
Nov.17 – Mar.31.2013


J&K | Janne Schäfer and Kristine Agergaard, Horus and Anubis in Islamic Cairo, 2006. Courtesy of the Artists.

Tea with Nefertiti examines our perceptions of an artwork from three distinct perspectives: the artist, the museum, and the public. Through revisiting the contested histories of how Egyptian collections have been amassed by numerous museums from the 19th century onwards, it brings together antiquities, modernist works, archives, and 26 international contemporary artists and artist collectives to explore the mechanisms by which artworks come to acquire a range of meanings and functions that can embody a number of diverse, and at times conflicting narratives. Curated by Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath of Art Reoriented, Tea with Nefertiti comprises of more than 100 artworks dating from ca. 1800 B.C. to the  present ranging from painting, sculpture and photography to video and  mixed-media installation. It also includes a newly commissioned site-specific intervention by Bassem Yousri. Along with these ancient, modern and contemporary works, around 50 archival documents will be on view including a number of  first-to-be-exhibited materials.


Arab Museum of Modern Art | Ad Doha, Qatar, 2777 Doha | More info



Jack Bell Gallery | Joel Andrianomearisoa | Waiting for the Seventh Day That Will Bring Us Together
Nov.22 – Dec.15


Joel Andrianomearisoa. Untitled (Textile). Courtesy of the Artist and Jack Bell Gallery.


Malagasy artist Joël Andrianomearisoa presents a solo exhibition of new work titled Waiting for the Seventh Day That Will Bring Us TogetherAndrianomearisoa frequently experiments with how paper and textiles can be used as a medium, and black features prominently. In Waiting for the Seventh Day Andrianomearisoa presents his ongoing exploration of eroticism, desire and negotiations with love. How does one speak of love, or understand love in the age of reason? The artist’s engagement with this contradiction is what forms the raw material of the show. The exhibition highlights the bodily presence of the viewer as itself a central aspect to the negotiation of space and ideas within his work.


Jack Bell Gallery | 13 Mason’s Yard London SWIY 5BU  | More info


The Tanks at TATE Modern | William Kentridge | I am not me, the horse is not mine
Nov.11 – Jan.20.2013


William Kentridge. I am not me, the horse is not mine (The Horse is not Mine), video stills from installation, 2008. © William Kentridge

South African artist William Kentridge’s eight-channel video installation I am not me, the horse is not mine will be showcased in the UK for the first time in the Tanks at Tate Modern. Projected simultaneously across the walls of the Tank, each film is played on a continuous loop to create an immersive audio-visual environment, which resists the establishment of a single narrative. Each short film contributes layers to a story that references Russian modernism, from Soviet film of the 1920s and 1930s to the calamitous end of the Russian avant-garde.


Tate Modern | Bankside, London SE1 9TG, United Kingdom | More info



Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects | Wangechi Mutu 
Nov.3 – Dec.22

Wangechi Mutu. Eye Spy.

Wangechi Mutu. Eye Spy, 2012. Courtesy of the Artist and Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects. Photo | Elisabeth Bernstein.

Nitarudi Ninarudi, Kiswahili for I plan to return I am returning, is Mutu’s current and fourth solo exhibition at Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects. The show, located in all four galleries includes a major video installation as well as new collages and sculptural works where Mutu continues to address perceptions of conflicting cultural projections played out on the body through her contemplations on race and gender.  Her hybrid beings, still fused and molded from plants, animals, machines, porn imagery and medical illustrations, are populating her collages in ever widening ranges of materials, but the tone of the work has shifted towards a deeper exploration and disclosure of the artist’s own experience in the Diaspora.  In this exhibition, ideas around longing, memory, and exile resonate and subvert traditional notions of a singular place of origin. Fusing her Kenyan experience with inflections of other cultural influences, the work calls into question any notion of a static identity and firmly rejects the centralisation and dominance of Eurocentric constructs within and outside of her homeland.


Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects | 6006 Washington Blvd Culver City, CA 90232 | More info



Galerie Nicolas Deman | Ingrid Baars | L’Afrique C’est Chic
Nov.8 – Nov.30


Ingrid Baars . Wallflower, 2012.  Courtesy of the Artist.

 L’Afrique c’est Chic!, a  solo exhibition of recent works by  Ingrid Baars currently on show in Paris, and previously seen in Amsterdam, Brussels and London. An artist and photographer, Ingrid Baars constructs her creations by exploring the relationship between aesthetics, emotion, flesh and seduction in a unique and poetic style. In L’Afrique c’est Chic!, Ingrid Baars combines two opposing worlds by playing with the contrast between classic African art and contemporary creation. A contrast between the lifeless object and the vulnerability of life, a tension between distance and attraction.


Nicolas Deman Gallery | 12 rue Jacques Callot  75006 Paris | Courtesy of Fine Art Studio, Brussels



The Museum of Contemporary Art of Rome | Pascale Marthine Tayou
Nov.29 – Feb.10.2013


Pascale Marthine Tayou, “The Magic Calabash,” 2012.  Courtesy GALLERIA CONTINUA.

Celebrated Cameroonian artist Pascale Marthine Tayou, presents his first solo exhibition at MACRO curated by Bartolomeo Pietromarchi. Titled Secret Garden, Tayou will work in situ and in close connection with the exhibition spaces dedicated to the magic of space, suggestive light and architectural forms of the museum, taking advantage of the height and unique extension of the Sala Enel. His numerous installations give a platform to the Western conception of African exoticism that is full of energy and vitality, but is also complex and contradictory. The artist’s work, as his name written in the feminine form delineates, is deliberately heterogeneous and indefinable, elusive in respect to predetermined patterns. The definition of Tayou’s poetic process hangs between the eccentric and colourful story of everyday life and the necessity to mix human characteristics and geographies, cultures and situations, which are not easy to identify. The common thread in his works is the idea of journey, not only physical but also mental, that is manifested as a constant geographical and cultural nomadism.


The Museum of Contemporary Art of Rome | MACRO | Via Nizza 138, Rome  | More info



San Francisco Museum of Modern Art  | South Africa in Apartheid and After : David Goldblatt, Ernest Cole, and Billy Monk
Dec.1 – Mar.5.2013


Billy Monk, The Catacombs, 5 February 1968, 1968, printed 2011. Courtesy of Stevenson, Cape Town and Johannesburg; © Estate of Billy Monk

South Africa in Apartheid and After: David Goldblatt, Ernest Cole, and Billy Monk illuminates a vital, difficult, and contested period in the recent history of South Africa from the perspectives of three photographers: David Goldblatt, Ernest Cole, and Billy Monk. The son of Eastern European immigrants, documentary photographer Goldblatt came of age under apartheid and observed the increasing entrenchment of racial inequality in his country. His early project In Boksburg (1982) portrays a typical suburban white community shaped by what the artist calls “white dreams and white proprieties.” Included at Goldblatt’s request, photographs by Cole and Monk expand the exhibition’s field of view. Cole, a self-taught black South African documentary photographer, observed the other side of the racial divide in the 1960s, making photographs that are eloquently observant and deeply humane. Monk’s work offers a raw and witty record of The Catacombs, a rowdy Cape Town nightclub where he worked as a bouncer in the 1960s. These three groups of pictures are complemented by a selection of Goldblatt’s recent, post-apartheid photographs, sober yet hopeful records of an imperfect, still-evolving democracy.


* Nov.29 | David Goldblatt in conversation Sandra S. Phillips, senior curator of photography, SFMOMA | details

* Nov.30 | Exhibiting South Africa, a curatorial workshop that will start a process resulting in an exhibition in 2014 | details


San Francisco Museum of Modern Art | 151 Third Street, San Francisco, California, 94103, USA. | More info



SCAD Museum of Art  | Yinka Shonibare MBE | Addio del Passato
Oct.27 – Jan.27.2013


Yinka Shonibare, MBE. Fake Death Picture (The Death of Chatterton – Henry Wallis) 2011. Courtesy of the Artist and  Stephen Friedman Gallery.

Addio del Passato, an exhibition of new works by artist Yinka Shonibare MBE. The exhibition features photographs from Shonibare’s allegorical Fake Death Pictures series, sculptures, and the film Addio Del Passato (So Closes My Sad Story) that collectively explore themes of desire, love, repression and power. These works weave together conceptual impressions of colonialism using a theatrical vocabulary and visual imagery that speak to history through the lens of the present.


SCAD Museum of Art | 601 Turner Boulevard, Savannah, Georgia, USA | More info



ROSPHOTO State Museum and Exhibition Centre for Photography | Roger Ballen  | Shadow Land
Nov.1 – Dec.19


Roger Ballen. Mimicry, 2005.  Courtesy of the Artist.

Shadow Land | Photographs by Roger Ballen 1983 – 2011  is internationally-acclaimed photographer, Roger Ballen’s first major exhibition in Russia. Works created over a period of three decades featured include his early series, Dorps and the highly charged and controversial series’ Platteland, Outland, Shadow Chamber and Boarding House through to unseen new work from the series, Asylum. His strange and extreme works confront the viewer and challenge them to come with him on a journey into their own minds as he explores the deeper recesses of his own. His distinctive style of photography has evolved using a simple square format in stark and beautiful black and white.

In Ballen’s earlier works, his connection to the tradition of documentary photography is clear. From the 1990’s however, he developed a style he describes as ‘documentary fiction.’ The line between fantasy and reality is even more blurred in his more recent series.’ Ballen has invented a new hybrid aesthetic; often employing drawings, painting, collage and sculptural techniques to create elaborate sets where people ore often absent. In these his most recent works Ballen’s aesthetic codes clearly show an evolution yet remain firmly rooted in photography.


ROSPHOTO State Museum and Exhibition Centre for Photography | 35 Bolshaya Morskaya, 191186 Saint-Petersburg, Russia | More info

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