Africa Remix, contemporary art of a continent
9/2/2005 - 17/4/2005
Curator: Simon Njami
Africa Remix : Contemporary Art of a Continent is the largest exhibition of contemporary African art ever seen in Europe. Featuring more than 60 artists, the show includes painting, drawing, sculpture, installation, photography, film and video, many created within the last five years. Artists from 25 countries across the continent, from Algeria to Zimbabwe, are represented, as well as African artists now living in Europe and North America. The show includes new work by the outstanding South African photographer David Goldblatt; a spectacular eight metres high 'cloth of gold' made from thousands of bottle tops by Ghanaian El Anatsui; and an assemblage made from found materials by the Nigerian Dilomprizulike, known in Lagos as 'the junk man of Africa'.
The exhibition is an international collaboration between four major galleries: Museum Kunst Palast in DÃ¼sseldorf, where it opened in July this year; the Hayward Gallery; the Centre Pompidou, Paris, where it will travel after London; and the Mori Museum Tokyo. Simon Njami (writer and founder-editor of the Paris-based journal, Revue Noire), leading the curatorial team, has travelled extensively throughout Africa over the past decade. The selection brings together internationally renowned artists and an emerging generation of artists whose work will be shown in Britain for the first time.
Africa Remix: Contemporary Art of a Continent is arranged around three broad themes. City and Land explores the contrasting experiences of urban and rural life and the distinctive dynamism of African cities. This section of the show includes new work by the outstanding South African photographer David Goldblatt; a spectacular eight metres high 'cloth of gold' made from thousands of bottle tops by Ghanaian El Anatsui; and an assemblage made from found materials by the Nigerian Dilomprizulike, known in Lagos as 'the junk man of Africa'.
History and Identity focuses on matters of power and authority, modernity, and tradition and collective identities. It includes the Central African photographer Samuel Fosso, who has been representing himself in multiple guises since the 1970s; an installation by this year's Turner prize nominee, London-based Nigerian Yinka Shonibare; and South African Jane Alexander, whose haunting sculptural tableau, African Adventure, mixing human and animal forms, was originally conceived for the British Officers' Mess in Cape Town.
Body and Soul addresses issues of individual identity, religion, spirituality and emotion, sexuality, the body, the portrait, and the gaze. The New York-based Egyptian artist Ghada Amer creates delicate, transgressive imagery from cotton threads; Kenyan Wangechi Mutu, also living in New York, has recently risen to prominence with her fantastical mixed media collages. Egyptian artists Abd El Ghany Kenawy and Amal Kenawy have produced a poignant atmospheric video installation on the depths of hope and memory.
Also at the Hayward Gallery, a commissioned selection of 60 tracks of current African sounds, from Algerian hip-hop to traditional Malian kora music, produced by the world music broadcaster Lucy Duran with Theodoros Konkouris and DJ Dudu Sarr, that will be playing on a juke box. Visitors will be able to listen and relax in a specially designed lounge area in the Hayward's pavilion, decorated with vibrant African furniture created by Malian Cheik Diallo.
Also as part of the Africa Remix festival, a major programme of music, literature and performance is also taking place at the South Bank Centre across the Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall and Purcell Room, including free events on the Ballroom. Confirmed artists so far include Dizzee Rascal, MC Solaar and Ty, Baaba Maal, Koffi Olumide, King Sunny Ade, Helon Habila and Teofile Chantre.