lunedì 30 giugno 2008

WIM BOTHA - 'Transmigrations'

by Sean O'Toole
Wim Botha grew up in a drowsy suburban neighbourhood on the eastern reaches of Pretoria. This fact might not necessarily be apparent the first time you view his work, but it is relevant. His work is rooted in the officious pretensions of the nation's administrative capital, and draws extensively from popular iconography closely associated with the city. Seemingly boring stuff like trophy mounts and government texts, bibles and religious icons have all at some time or another been the form and/or content of his visually arresting output.
Using the familiar, the everyday, the iconic, Wim Botha has succeeded in creating works characterised by their delicate blending of inter-acting themes. Take for instance his Wild Life series of sculptural installations. A relatively early piece from his career, Wim Botha used official government gazettes as source material for a carved bust of a Blue Wildebeest. As in much of the work that followed, the carved text of this piece became the physical substance of the work, the collective text informing both the representation of the work, as well as providing the work with its social context.

"My works are a process of distillations," the artist explains. "They attempt to reduce all-encompassing ideas and universal factors down to their core idea." Exploring along the way "intercepting variables" and "patterns", his work also offers viewers a curious glance at "the things people do, need, construct to make sense of things," be they grandiose and religious, or decorative and facile in a not so innocent fashion. (More...)

sabato 28 giugno 2008


"Hitler‘s admirers" is the title given to an image found while leafing through the German magazine "Spiegel". You can see Hitler surrounded by a cluster of exited women, leaning towards him, drawn to him, magnetized by his supposed charismatic presence. I wonder to myself: had I been there at the time, would I have been attracted to this man who was later called the personification of evil for the crimes he committed in the Third Reich? But a second thought brings reality into focus: "If Ingrid Njeri Mwangi - the daughter of a Kenyan man and a German woman - had been born during the Third Reich, she would have been considered "of an inferior genotype" and classified as "degenerate progeny". She might never have been born in the first place, as racial anthropologists were demanding the forced sterilization of mothers of Afro-Germans even before the rise of Nazism." 1
There it is again. You can't get out of your skin. You can't change sides. But then again…

"Mwangi occupies both sides. She has Afro-European roots, lives in front and behind the divide. From her father's side she belongs to the "Wretched of the Earth", and from her mother's side she belongs to the "Camp of the Conquerors". Taking this hybridity into account, it cannot be denied that Mwangi's work is determined by the discourse of gender and race. This brings us back to a much more difficult, possibly a rhetorical question…" 2
Is it easier to be the victim or the perpetrator?
This depends on where and when. To be the perpetrator in the present, profiting and benefiting from a prevailing system of injustice, or to be the perpetrator of that specific past that is considered to have been one of the most shocking and terrible periods in history, where human rights were so blatantly disregarded? 
To be the victim, who is humiliated on a daily basis, persecuted, even shuddering with torture pain? Or to be a 'mere' descendent of such, with at best a collective memory of this treatment, but experiencing the consequences of that history?
Studying Hitler's face, I seem to identify a certain uneasiness lurking in his set expression. The way he stiffly looks into the camera, aloof and distanced, as if the scene around him is not taking place. There could just as well be no women around him. Or very different women…
It is easy to say, I was not there, and had I been there, and been somebody else, I would have acted differently. The fact is: German history is part of my heritage. And if in art I have begun to use my identity to ask questions about individual responsibility, then I cannot stop at my African identity. I must go all the way. This is the starting point for a new series of artistic investigations.
In previous works I have been discussing the concept, history and reality of Blackness, beginning with my personal story, and going beyond that into further identification with what it must mean to be discriminated, exploited and violated, by the mere fact of dark skin colour (this search culminated in the performance Coloured, 2001, where I split the video image of my body into differently hued segments.) My artistic strategy became increasingly one of identification; to take the place of the other, in order to feel, to understand. In ”If“ I take a similar approach of putting myself in place of the other, but resulting in a different outcome for the viewer will not as willingly accept my identification with the white, as he does with the black. In this case 'the Other' are those who should have known, who knew and who benefited.

As always, the reason to go a short way back in history is because it is still happening now.
In order to widen the ground of my artistic discourse, it has become necessary to engage in works that investigate circumstances relating to both Robert Hutter and Ingrid Mwangi. Reacting to ideas of male-female dichotomy and socially defined German verses Kenyan identity, the aim is to create tension through the unexpected juxtaposition of two different, personally connected individuals.
Interestingly enough, it was Robert's idea to have Ingrid in the place of the German women in "Hitler‘s admirers". And it was Ingrid‘s idea to create a mixed being of Robert and Hitler, the object of desire around which the women are grouped. Thus, it seems that some ideas evolve easier through the prism of the other's, reflecting eye. The act of this exchange catapults us into an impossible and daunting situation. The presentation of a rejuvenated and modernized Hitler breaks with a quasi taboo of binding the infamous personage to a best forgotten past. It opens up the context to an awesome and frightening thought: how would Ingrid Mwangi and Robert Hutter have related to each other only seven decades ago? 
And: how far have we succeeded in overcoming this history?

1 Horst Gerhard Haberl, Art is the message, in Your Own Soul. Ingrid Mwangi, Kehrer Heidelberg/ Stadtgalerie Saarbrücken 2003, p. 32

2 Jan Hoet and Anne Demeester, Beyond wounds and scars. The multiple worlds of Ingrid Mwangi, in Your Own Soul. Ingrid Mwangi, Kehrer Heidelberg/ Stadtgalerie Saarbrücken, 2003. p. 48

© IngridMwangiRobertHutter, 2003

if was commissioned by the Museum for African Art, New York for the exhibition Looking Both Ways: Art of the Contemporary African Diaspora, curated by Laurie Ann Farrell.


Joël DOSSOU né à Abomey, a fait ses études au Collège d’ Enseignement Général 2 d’Abomey jusqu’en classe de 3ème et a entamé sa carrière artistique de 1999 en 2001 à l’Ecole de Dominique ZINKPE (Maison des Arts Contemporains d’Abomey). (MORE....)

Exposition prevue vers le mois de octobre a la Galerie NERART a Lugano (Suisse)

giovedì 26 giugno 2008


April 2—June 29, 2008
Flow is the first twenty-first century exhibition focusing on art by a new generation of international artists from Africa. These artists are uniquely conscious of, and responsive to, recent African history, global economics and the idiosyncratic culture of the new millennium. Presenting approximately seventy-five works in all media by approximately twenty emerging international artists under the age of forty, this exhibition will feature models of imaginary architecture, wall sculptures of beads and decorative elements, digital photography, new video, paintings and site specific installations, among other media. The artists, who hail from eleven African nations, reside mainly in Europe and North America and travel to and from Africa regularly. The majority of them have never been included in major U.S. museum exhibitions and are virtually unknown in this country. Modeled after Freestyle, our landmark 2001 exhibition, which was followed in 2005 by Frequency, Flow will illustrate the individuality and complexity of the visual art produced by a dynamic generation of young artists, this time with a global perspective.

The Studio Museum in Harlem
144 West 125th Street, New York, New York 10027
tel 212.864.4500 fax 212.864.4800

mercoledì 25 giugno 2008

Sold! Goodman Gallery changes hands

by Michael Smith
In a momentous event long gossiped about within the SA art world, the Goodman Gallery has been bought from scene doyenne, Linda Givon by purchaser is Liza Essers. Essers is an art adviser, dealer and curator.

Givon established the Goodman Gallery 42 years ago, and since then has nurtured the top artistic talents of numerous generations of SA art. Her roster has included Lisa Brice, Kendell Geers, Robert Hodgins, William Kentridge, David Koloane, Sam Nhlengetwa, Tracey Rose and Penny Siopis, to name but a few. Givon's gallery has long been synonymous with strong shows, quality work and a high degree of professionalism. Givon expanded her brand in 2007, opening Goodman Gallery Cape in Wodstock, Cape Town. This gallery is currently managed by the curatorial team of Emma Bedford and Storm Janse van Rensburg.

Essers began a career in finance, but subsequently studied art in Florence and in 2003 moved over to a career as an independent art adviser. She lists several local and international private and corporate art collectors among her clients in this regard.

Essers has also curated numerous shows, such as 2003's 'Integrating Cultures' at Bell-Roberts in Cape Town, and 2007's 'Shift', which showed at the Gallery on Cork Street in London. She has even turned her hand to film, as a co-executive producer on the 2005 Gavin Hood-directed hit 'Tsotsi'.

Essers has traveled with Givon to Art 39 Basel in Switzerland, at which the Goodman Gallery is the only South African gallery to have representation. At this event, Givon is expected to introduce Essers to major directors, curators, gallerists, dealers and collectors. This will help to ensure what the gallery has called 'a smooth transition during this change in leadership'.

lunedì 23 giugno 2008


Andrew Esiebo is a freelance photographer from Nigeria.
He began photography after receiving his first camera as a gift from Spaniard, Jose Maria Ortuno. 
He has been able to undergo the nitty-gritty of photography through self practice and corresponding tutelage from US based Photographer, Paul Udstrand. 
His works have been featured in various publications including books, calendars, newspapers, digests, and advertizing materials. His work has also been featured at art shows in Nigeria and Ghana. The strong point of his photography is expressing the realities of life in his milieu and cultural heritage. You can visit his website

domenica 22 giugno 2008


Willie Bester

The rise of Willie Bester from unknown artist holding a first exhibition (1988) to one internationally in demand a few years later has been meteoric.

Modus operandi:

Bester paints, often on extremely rough surfaces like sacking or crushed tins, and makes large assemblages, cutting and welding together found materials from the junkshop and the street, and incorporating objects of all kinds in order to make layered comments on aspects of South African history. The titles of some of his pieces reveal his concerns: Apartheid Laboratory, Ox Wagon, Death Machine

Artist's statement:

"What I try to get behind is why it is so difficult for people to change from their old ways. It hasn't worked out the way I imagined. People who thought they were superior before haven't really changed. I try to find out through studying history what gives people the right to think that way. I try to find a solution, not to be disappointed, to reach an understanding. The Truth Commission seemed to be one of the answers, but now I find that even the Truth Commission is a trap. It has done more damage than good, because the ANC was favoured over the Afrikaners. I want to do a series about it."


At a recent auction at Sotheby's in London of contemporary African art from the Pigozzi collection, Bester's painting Semikazi (1993) reached the astonishing figure of almost R110,000 - more than twice the pre-sale estimate. Jean Piggozzi is one of the major collectors of Bester's work. In Europe, Bester's piece Death Machine can be seen on the exhibition [[Rewind. Fast Forward. ZA]], at the Van Reekum Museum of Art in Apeldoorn, Holland. In Washington, he is on the exhibition at the National Museum for African Art, "Claiming art/Reclaiming Space: Post-Apartheid Art from South Africa".

venerdì 20 giugno 2008

Dominique Zinkpé ou l'art de la condition humaine

Au Dak'Art 2000, ses trois «cars rapides» autour de la Place Soweto, à Dakar, firent sensation. Plus vrais que nature! Et pourtant, conçus au départ de vieilles carlingues désaffectées bourrées, de bas en haut, de personnages de fer, de loques, aux mines patibulaires, aux gestes d'un quotidien ardu et sans trop d'espoir, sortes de bannis, de bagnards, en appel de Dieu sait quel air frais, ils faisaient penser, à s'y méprendre, vus de loin, aux cars de la mort qui sillonnent l'Afrique de l'Ouest, colorés et tragiques. Il suffisait de lire, humour à cru et vérités à fleur de peau, des cris du coeur bon marché, inscrits en lettres rouges sur leur devanture de guingois, du genre «La rue est à nous», voire plus acidulé «Si la maison du mouton est sale, ce n'est pas au cochon de le dire» ou «Tais-toi, jaloux» !

Le jury international de la Biennale ne resta pas indifférent aux images fortes d'une création africaine aussi justement en prise directe sur l'identité bafouée d'un continent aux réalités trop souvent laissées pour compte. En 2002, le Dak'Art officialisait, en effet, sa personnalité hors du commun en primant son installation «Malgré tout», image bouleversante d'une Afrique sous perfusion constante, d'une Afrique en dérive sous l'oeil expert des grandes puissances.

Auteur d'installations fortes, vivantes, d'une symbolique capable d'émouvoir le badaud comme l'homme averti, Dominique Zinkpè, 35 ans, a plus d'une corde à son arc de Béninois natif d'Abomey. Il est aussi sculpteur et peintre. Et, pour l'avoir vu se distinguer dans les diverses disciplines, nous pouvons affirmer qu'il se montre aussi à l'aise dans l'une que dans l'autre. A l'aise et convaincant.

«Je suis né en ville et mon père oeuvrait dans l'administration. Il avait renoncé aux traditions sous l'influence de la religion catholique et nous obligeait à assister à la messe quotidienne. D'où m'est très vite venue une attirance pour les rites interdits, la richesse des corps dans la danse... Cette initiation par la bande m'a amené à décider de me consacrer entièrement à l'art. Et, pour ne pas heurter de front mes parents, j'ai d'abord appris pendant trois ans le métier de couturier. Ce vrai métier en mains, ils m'ont alors soutenu dans une carrière artistique qui, pour eux, paraissait si aléatoire. Mais j'étais alors trop âgé ou pas vraiment motivé pour suivre une école des Beaux-Arts. J'ai préféré puiser mes ressources en moi-même.»

Zinkpè est devenu artiste à part entière en 1993. «J'étais à Abidjan, en Côte d'Ivoire, et j'y ai reçu le Prix du Jeune talent africain. Ce qui m'a permis de prendre conscience que j'existais. J'ai pris confiance en moi-même. Depuis, je ne fais plus rien d'autre...» Dominique Zinkpè a, depuis, beaucoup voyagé. En Afrique, mais en Europe aussi. Son «Taxi-Zinkpè» a fait son petit tour du monde, preuve s'il en est qu'un art connoté africain peut très bien devenir universel, pourvu qu'il raconte des histoires d'hommes aux prises avec leur vie.L'artiste qui avoue son respect pour la Biennale de Dakar, car elle est aussi le plus grand rendez-vous de l'art contemporain en Afrique, trouve qu'elle est, pour les artistes, un vrai «cadeau» : «Avoir une reconnaissance en Afrique, c'est très important car, la plupart du temps, nous ne sommes respectés chez nous qu'après avoir été reconnus en Europe ou en Amérique. Et le Dak'Art a joué un grand rôle dans ma vie.»


Si Zinkpè s'est, évidemment, intéressé à l'Histoire de l'art en lisant tout ce qu'il était possible de trouver à Cotonou, il reconnaît qu'un livre et un artiste ont fait sur lui l'effet d'une bombe. «J'avais lu le bel ouvrage de Yacouba Konaté, «Le sculpteur aux mains nues», et y ayant découvert le travail du sculpteur ivoirien Christian Lattier, je me suis rendu compte qu'on pouvait s'exprimer avec un seul matériau et y puiser toute l'énergie nécessaire. Lattier sculptait seulement avec des cordes! Aujourd'hui encore, si je dois me trouver un maître dans ma vie, c'est lui. Après cela, j'ai vu beaucoup de choses et il y a celles qui vous restent. J'ai visité maints musées, mais j'éprouve une vraie frustration en constatant qu'ils sont de plus en plus vides, de plus en plus plats!»


Sculpteur, Zinkpè tresse des fibres autour de fils de fer et cela nous donne de curieux personnages aux allures souples et félines aux prises avec des situations quotidiennes plus ou moins cocasses. Toujours plaisantes à décrypter sous leurs allures d'énigmes en équilibre entre deux chaises. Parfois aussi ces sculptures participent d'un ensemble où se côtoient jeux de fibres et effigies de bois entre vie et mort. Et puis Zinke dessine et peint. Des personnages surtout, à l'image souvent de ses êtres sculptés, aux noirs rehaussés de quelques touches vives de jaune, de rouge, de bleu. L'artiste n'écarte point le sexe de ses évocations, la femme nourricière et féconde de l'Afrique le requérant bien sûr aussi.

«Aujourd'hui que tout est conceptualisé, on peut penser que la sculpture va disparaître. Et la peinture, c'est ringard. Et bien plus c'est ringard, et plus j'ai envie de peindre! Va-t-on en arriver au point où les artistes vont, à défaut d'oeuvres, s'installer eux-mêmes dans les musées? Même la lenteur de concrétisation du travail artistique n'est plus respectée de nos jours. On ne peut pas nier le passé!»

Et Zinkpè d'y aller d'une boutade qui vaut son pesant d'or: «Je n'ai pas d'écriture. Et je dis cela pour les idiots qui veulent sans cesse enfermer les artistes dans des catégories qui les arrangent. Je peins, je sculpte, je m'intéresse à la religion, aux situations politiques. Je n'ai pas le talent d'écrire mes histoires, ni la prétention de faire un art engagé. Mais, dans un pays où l'on n'avait pas la liberté de s'exprimer, mon travail m'a permis d'avoir un pouvoir d'expression. De dire mes tripes, mes émotions. Joies et douleurs. Et, conscient de cette importance, je cherche de plus en plus à dépouiller, à n'exprimer que l'essentiel.»

Père de trois enfants, vivant une partie de l'année à Marseille, Dominique Zinkpè, coiffure rasta, barbichette et moustache, bagues et bijoux touaregs aux mains et aux bras, va son chemin droit devant, conquérant. Ses histoires à lui sont des histoires vécues. Chaque toile lui est un combat.

© La Libre Belgique

giovedì 19 giugno 2008

CYPRIEN TOKOUDAGBA & NERART at Museum of New Zealand TEPAPA Tongarewa

Presented by the Natural World Museum in partnership with United Nations Environment Programme.

Curator Statement

Nature strives for balance, including balancing the levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. But the rate at which humans are moving carbon into the atmosphere by burning fossil fuels has surpassed Earth's ability to maintain balance. As a result, the climate is changing.

Carbon balance is one part of nature's balancing act. Humans, collectively and individually, also strive for balance.

In this exhibition, we ask the artists to help us find new visions and new choices for a balanced Earth. What does it mean to be in balance as individuals and communities? How do we get the Earth in balance? What does balance look and feel like?

The answers are as varied as the artists. Their stories reflect both the consequences of our current path as well as the opportunities for new ones. One artist calls this dilemma of balance "existential slapstick", while another calls breath and clean air the necessary first step for balancing ourselves, and the planet. Some artists explore new energy sources for the future, while others remind us to trust Mother Earth, and the shared energy and wisdom that have always been here – if we take the time to look, listen, and receive.

Collectively, the artists ask us to consider the connection between Earth's imbalance and ours. Can we use nature as a model and mentor to find equilibrium? Nature reacts by adapting or going extinct. How will we react?

The choice is ours to make now – or nature may choose for us.

Randy Jayne Rosenberg

mercoledì 18 giugno 2008


Window in the desert is a video portraying
Fenenin El-Rahhal, meaning 'Nomadic artists‘ in Arabic; a workings artists summit initiated and facilitated by Lara Baladi, the first of which took place in the Western Desert of Egypt.

Joël Andrianomearisoa, Michel Assenmaker,
Joseph Badtke Berkow, Lara Baladi, Bili Bidjocka,
Véronique Caye, Nadine Chamaa, Joy Episalla,
Patrice Félix-Tchicaya, IngridMwangiRobertHutter,
Carol Refabert, Wael Shawky, Nida Sinnokrot, Patrice Sour,
Eric Van Hove and Carrie Yamaoka

these images make up a few of the frays
on the edges of the fabric
that has been woven through Fenenin El-Rahhal
that makes up a part of the endless cloth of the world,
which is always evolving
and must become a thicker fabric, a finer one,
that cools when it is warm
and warms when it is cold,
meant to cover each thing from stone and twig,
human and mountain to space

martedì 17 giugno 2008


Seydou Keïta was one of the most celebrated West African photographers.
From his studio in the centre of Bamako, Mali, located behind the prison, Keïta took about 20,000 portraits between 1949 and 1963. He was a self-taught photographer, first experimenting with a Kodak Brownie camera, but quickly switching to medium and large-format cameras for their sharpness and clarity. His vibrantly patterned backdrops were all locally sourced cloths – the first of these was actually his own bedspread. Keïta also developed the angled portrait, a composition which emboldens the sitter and increases the dynamism of the overall image.
‘A photograph is a souvenir, a work of art, and a document’, Keïta said. At the peak of his career, hundreds of people queued outside his studio every day. Clients wanted to ‘dress up’ for their portraits and often brought precious objects or favourite items of clothing with them. They also frequently borrowed from Keïta’s in-house selection of dresses, suits, uniforms and jewellery. As many of these items repeat from picture to picture, it is difficult to make assumptions about a sitter’s occupation, wealth or personal interests.
The photographs on display here are on loan from the Contemporary African Art Collection (CAAC), Geneva, which was founded in 1989 by Jean Pigozzi and curated from the beginning by André Magnin. The largest private collection of its kind, the CAAC has helped many African artists to show their work in major institutions around the world.
Seydou Keïta (1921-2001) was born in Bamako, Mali, where he lived and worked.
Curated by Cliff Lauson with the advice of André Magnin, Curator, CAAC.
This display has been made possible by the generous support of the Contemporary African Art Collection and Jean Pigozzi.

lunedì 16 giugno 2008

sabato 14 giugno 2008


Ed Young Second Installment at Locust Projects, Miami
Black in Five Minutes will be the second installment of the site-specific Locust Projects mural project of by Ed Young. He utilizes forms of conceptualism, performance, and minimalism, underscored by his persona, to call attention to major themes of boredom, insolence and laziness. Young investigates the idea that the structure of the art world has superseded the art object itself. For this project, Young will create a new site-specific mural every four months for one year. The final mural will coincide with Art Basel Miami 2008.

Opens: March 2008
Closes: June 2008

venerdì 13 giugno 2008

Dak’Art 08: Chasing Shadows

By Bisi Silva

DAKAR, Senegal—On May 9, the eighth edition of the Dakar Biennale was officially opened by Senegalese president Abdoulaye Wade, in a ceremony involving the usual pomp, pageantry, political mutterings, and half-hearted promises to support and develop visual art education and infrastructure. For 16 years Dak’Art has provided the only consistent large-scale platform for the presentation of contemporary artistic production south of the Sahara. While each edition bears witness to the event’s growing importance as a meeting point for art professionals from around the world, this year’s biennale falls short of leveraging its position as Africa’s most important visual art platform.
Dak’Art 08, which runs May 9 to June 9, presents some 50 works by 36 artists from 16 countries — including three from the diaspora — across two official venues, under the broad theme of “Africa: Mirror?” The framework calls for a critical reflection on the failures and successes of post-colonial Africa as many of its nations prepare to celebrate 50 years of independence in 2010, and the biennale, to its credit, includes a substantial number of projects relating to African and diaspora themes — from African history, colonialization, conflict, displacement, and migration to rural/urban and modern/traditional tensions. However, in spite of a few interesting projects, this year’s biennale represents a major step backward for the event.

Since its inception in 1992, Dak’Art ran for many years without a curatorial team, a situation quite unusual for a major biennale. Artists were invited to apply, and an international committee whose members were sometimes unfamiliar with the applicants determined the final selection. In 2006, the limitations of this selection process were finally addressed, and the biennale was organized by a curatorial team of six (disclosure: I was one), under the leadership of artistic director Yacouba Konate. The result was an ambitious affair spread over four venues, including the extensive grounds and ancillary spaces of the Theodore Monod Museum, and featuring over 85 artists and 120 artworks from 27 African countries and 4 in the diaspora.

This year, unfortunately, all of those positive developments have been reversed. (MORE....)

giovedì 12 giugno 2008

BANDJOUN STATION - Barthélémy Toguo

Bandjoun Station is situated on the high plateaux of Western Cameroon, 3 km from the town of Bafoussam, 300 km from Douala and Yaoundé. Bandjoun Station is first and foremost a private house where artists, choreographers, photographers, writers, academics, film makers, doctors, curators, art critics, actors, anthropologists, scientists will be made welcome. Some will be invited to participate in artistic residencies on-site, at Bandjoun Station House.

All our guests will be able to work on their own projects, appropriate to the human and natural context of the site, and to propose activities and events, whether in the local region, further afield in Cameroon, or abroad. (MORE...)

mercoledì 11 giugno 2008

KILUANJI KIA HENDA at blank projects

"Expired Trading Products" is a mixed media exhibition that deals with refugees. The title refers to the fact that, like products that have passed their sell-by date, refugees are discarded or destroyed after their period of usefulness has expired. South Africa is currently undergoing its worst human rights abuses since the fall of Apartheid and this timely exhibition, presented by an Angolan national currently on a two month residency here, promises to present a unique perspective on the issue. Significantly this project was conceived prior to Kia Henda's arrival and before the recent crisis escalated to its current levels.
"Nuclear garden of Mr Young", which opens on the same night, is a reflection on Cape Town's status as the only city in Africa to have a nuclear power plant. Nuclear power offers the promise of cheap, clean energy whilst threatening the dangers of radiation, environment chaos and the spectre of the Bomb. For this exhibition the artist plans to create a nuclear braai and garden as a monument, photographs of which will be on display. Like atomic energy commission inspectors, only a privileged few will be permitted direct access to the actual event, the results of which will be able to be seen at the exhibition.

Kiluanji Kia Henda Angolan photographer, Kiluanji Kia Henda spends three months in Cape Town on residency at blank projects.

Born in 1979, Kiluanji lives and works in Luanda. His photographs have been exhibited at the 1 Trienal of Luanda, 2005, at “Art InVisible”, ARCO, Madrid, 2006, at “SD Observatory” IVAM (Valecian Institute of Modern Art) Valencia, 2006 and at 52nd Edition of Venice Bienal, Africa Pavillion “Check List Luanda Pop”, 2007.

Not only a photographer, Kiluanji has also been involved in theatre productions as a performer, musician and lending his hand as a lighting technician. Now he visits Cape Town for three months to work and network with local artists.

martedì 10 giugno 2008

Ingrid Mwangi Robert Hutter - HEADSKIN

Produced with the support of Wella Museum, Darmstadt

In the work titled Headskin two synchronized videos showing the back of the artists' heads are projected in juxtaposition. The double projection allows a penetrating gaze upon the vulnerable part of the head that is without sight and means of verbal expression.
In the space of six minutes shaved lines cleave their way through both heads of hair, dividing the body of hair first into halves, quarters, then eighths. Finally, the remaining segments of hair also disappear bit by bit, leaving both heads bald. The sound accompanying the process of elimination consists of hacked, mechanical noises of an electric shaver, supplemented by fragments of speech taken from a dialog between Mwangi and Hutter. Words such as 'I - Identity - not African, let's talk about European - guilt - think/forget - what? - decide, act, relate' indicate that the work is about the intercultural dialog that the artists are engaging in.


Two years after his first solo show in Switzerland, Galerie bertrand & gruner is pleased once again to present the work of Pieter Hugo. Born in 1976 in South Africa, Hugo was awarded the World Press Photo prize for portraiture in 2006. He was also named the Standard Bank Young Artist for Visual Art 2007. In the past year, Hugo has held solo shows in New York (Yossi Milo Gallery), Los Angeles (Stephen Cohen Gallery) and Rome (Extraspazio). Recent group shows he has taken part in include Reality Check: Contemporary Art Photography from South Africa 2007 (Kunstsammlungen Chemnitz), AnAtlas of Events (Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon) and Faccia a Faccia: Il nuovo ritratto fotografico (FORMA, Centro Internazionale di Fotografia, Milan). In 2008, he will take part in Street & Studio: An Urban History of Photography mounted by Tate Modern (London), in collaboration with the Folkwang Museum (Essen). 
Three monographs of Hugo’s work have been published: Looking Aside (2006), Messina/Musina (2007) and The Hyena & Other Men (2007). “Works 2002-2007” offers an extensive overview of each of these series. ‘Gadawan Kura’ - The Hyena & Other Men continues the work Hugo began in 2005. Once again the photographer crisscrosses Nigeria following a traveling group of men, baboons, hyenas and pythons. From town to town the troupe parades its animals before a stunned audience, taking the opportunity to sell them amulets and traditional medicines. It’s a profitable business, all the more so when the men occasionally step out of their role as public entertainers to take advantage of the ferocity of their hyenas and extort money from people. Produced in 2006, the series Messina/Musina focuses on the small town of Musina, located in the far north of South Africa on the border with Zimbabwe. The town was formerly known as Messina, and in 2002 its name was changed to correct a colonial misspelling of the name of the Musina people who previously lived in the region. In the heart of the bush, on the major trucking route north, Musina is inhabited by a diverse population drawn there by the possibility of earning money working on the mines or on farms. Hugo’s photographic series, which is made up of family portraits, interiors and landscapes, offers a sensitive examination of a community in transition. The same sensitivity and respect for the photographed subject characterizes Looking Aside (2004-2006), a series of close-up portraits of people with albinism and others, including the blind and elderly, whose appearance makes them the victims of embarrassed looks or even societal rejection. 
Shown together for the first time, these three series reveal a photographer who is fully committed to his subjects. 

lunedì 9 giugno 2008


Avant Car Guard are Zander Blom, Jan-Henri Booyens and Michael MacGarry - a three member visual art collective from Johannesburg (recently featured in Frieze Magazine Issue 112). They have exhibited at a national and international level over the past 18 months, including an extended exhibition at The Pure Project in New York City. They have published two books on their production entitled Volume I, and Volume II. Their approach to art production, the art world and their own collective role as a singular artist is characterized by a strong sense of humour and punk sensibility. Their approach focuses on conceptual art manifested through photography and performance. “A sincere act to invent something insincere,” is probably the most succinct definition of their method.


domenica 8 giugno 2008



Est une association d'éditions et d'événements culturels qui regroupe quelques passionnés qui veulent avoir un autre regard sur l'Afrique et le monde extra-occidental, hors de l'exotisme folklorique et même de l'ethnologie réductrice. L'ailleurs aussi est moderne. L'ailleurs aussi vit avec les mêmes angoisses, les mêmes joies et les mêmes images que les nôtres et que les leurs propres. L'Autre aussi existe. 
Accepter l'Autre est le premier chemin à parcourir pour combattre la différence, pour combattre ce qu'il faut bien nommer le racisme. L'autre est aussi une partie de nous-même. Comprendre l'Autre est aussi se comprendre soi même. 
L'Art et la Culture sont les lieux d'excellence pour se retrouvrer une humanité digne excluant le rejet de la différence, pour exprimer une totale reconnaissance de l'autre. 

Editions Revue Noire
8 rue Cels - 75014 Paris
Tel 33- (0)1 43 20 28 14
Fax 33-(0)1 43 22 92 60

Jean-Loup Pivin
Directeur de la publication

Pascal Martin Saint Léon
Directeur artistique

sabato 7 giugno 2008

African Art sales: a continent out of the shade

Colin Gleadell on African art
Angaza Afrika (Swahili for "shed light on Africa") is the title of an exhibition and a new publication about contemporary African art. So is someone tipping African art as the next big thing?

The book, which illustrates 350 works by 70 artists, has been compiled by Chris Spring, curator of the African galleries at the British Museum, who began to introduce contemporary art to the museum's collection in 1995. First there was a commission from the Nigerian-born, UK-educated sculptress Sokari Douglas Camp, followed by the acquisition of drawings and ceramics by Kenyan-born Magdalene Odundo, who also lives in the UK.

The African galleries in the British Museum opened in 2001, and Spring spread his wings further afield, showing the work of the Egyptian Chant Avedissian, El Anatsui from Ghana, and the Benin artist Romuald Hazoumé.

The museum now owns about 100 works by contemporary African artists. The idea, says Spring, is to display them within the ethnographical collection to challenge the notion that African art is simply tribal masks and carvings. Hazoumé's La Bouche du Roi, a boat-shaped installation assembled with empty plastic oil canisters, was considered an appropriate exhibit for Tate Modern.

Perhaps unanticipated by Spring is the way the market for these artists has grown. Odundo's pots were selling at auction last year for as much £27,000 each. Spring says they can now command between £50,000 and £60,000.


A work by Avedissian, who paints on recycled cardboard, sold for a record £36,000 at Christie's in Dubai last year. El Anatsui's wall hangings, made with metallic bottle tops that fold and crease like cloth, were acquired for the British Museum by the Art Fund when they cost about £10,000 each. Major new works by El Anatsui and by Hazoumé can now sell for up to £250,000 each. (MORE...)

'Agaza Africa: African Art Now' is published by Laurence King on May 19

venerdì 6 giugno 2008



Guy Tillim (born 1962) has been acclaimed in recent years for extraordinary images taken in Africa, in the fractured territories of Sierra Leone, Eritrea, the DRC (Democratic Republic of the Congo) and Angola and the urban centres of Johannesburg and Kinshasa. While Tillim trained as a photojournalist his work transcends the documentary impulse to offer profound insights into the contemporary African condition, finding revelatory beauty in the mundane (and often terrible) actuality of life there. Tillim says: 'Of course, there is always this: to change what is ugly and brutal into something sublime and redemptive: So I have photographs I like for reasons I have come to distrust. I learned my trade as a photojournalist but feelings of impotence in the face of other's despair led me to look away, as if catching only obliquely their reflected light.’ His images are, in the artist's formulation, of 'another nature: disquiet, introspection, wonder'.

Renate Wiehager has written: 'It can be said of Guy Tillim that his artistic approach is formulated on the tricky border between empathy and distancing. His travels through the countries of southern Africa are not dictated by pre-arranged goals. They seem to be guided by a quality of attention, unprejudiced at first, to the conditions and environments that people have brought about themselves, and that equally, they are placed in [..] Tillim's images derive from a disciplined avoidance of everything that has always been believed before, and any form of painting things in black and white.'

Tillim was born in Johannesburg in 1962.(MORE...)

mercoledì 4 giugno 2008


Sound Way - Brigthon England
From the Republic of Benin, West Africa, The Orchestre Poly-Rythmo are one of Africa’s least-known big-bands outside of their home country. Here we hope to redress the balance with a collection that reflects their many poly-rhythmic moods. A mixture of hard Afro-funk, driving Afro-beat, deep Afro-latin and Cuban grooves all with a unique flavour that ruled the dance-floors of 70’s urban Benin.

T.P. Orchestre Poly-Rythmo: The kings of Benin Urban Groove 1972-80


Kick the CO2 Habit Exhibit Premiers in Wellington, New Zealand on World Environment Day 2008

The Natural World Museum (NWM) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) produce a major exhibit for each annual World Environment Day (WED) event, launching in the host city and then traveling internationally.
WED is one of the principal vehicles through which the United Nations stimulates awareness of the environment and enhances political attention and action, commemorated annually on June 5, in a different host country each year. NWM is launching their newest exhibit: Moving Towards a Balanced Earth: Kick the Carbon Habit, which continues their exploration of climate change via the artist’s eyes.

martedì 3 giugno 2008

GAST SPIEL - Art & Performance

Exposition de
Ousmane DIA
(peintures et sculptures)
à la Galerie HOHLRAUM 11
Baumgartenweg 11
ch-4053 basel
à 10mn de la gare de Basel SBB

du 4 au 8 juin 2008 pendant Art Basel
foire d'art contemporain de Bâle

trois artistes sont invités par Ousmane pour un workshop et des performances du 4 au 8 juin dans la galerie:

Boubacar Diabang (performance et peinture)
Donna Kukama (performance, vidéo et peinture)
Cécile N'Duhirahe (performance et vidéo)

Contact M. Christoph Schön coordinateur:
Téléphone: 076 222 75 57

lunedì 2 giugno 2008


The idea of uniting a handful of primitive antique dealers to tie in with the inauguration of the Ambre gallery and offer the public the first “Non European Art Open Days” at the Sablon first saw the light of day in 1981.

The idea took off and it was a resounding success… the project became firmly established, attracting more and more galleries from both Belgium and abroad over the years.

In 1988, the first modest brochure appeared with details of this constantly expanding forum of antique dealers and only three and a half years later the first catalogue was published, marking the success of this momentary fellowship of antique dealers with one objective in common: to promote the exceptional wealth of primitive art, of which they are the ambassadors.

From 1996 onwards, Brussels antique dealers invited colleagues from abroad to the event. Today, the participation of galleries from France, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and the USA gives Bruneaf a decidedly international touch.

The Brussels Non European Art Fair has become one of the leading events displaying non-European art, covering fields as diverse as African, Oceanian, Indonesian, pre-Columbian, Asiatic and Australian Aboriginal art.

Sculptures, masks, fetishes, weaponry, jewellery, coins, fabrics, traditional objects executed by ethnic groups according to their own particular customs and worked in wood, metal, gold, silver, bronze, ivory or terra cotta - the objects on exhibit are ritual or domestic artefacts, combining shape with ornamental design. Although the form always meets practical requirements, it is also testimony of a certain vision of the world. Objets d’art from Africa, Indian or Tibet thus draw on the wealth of the myths which form the collective memory, respecting the aesthetic and symbolic standards of tradition and following in the footsteps of the traditional crafts used by their ancestors.