Wangechi Mutu Takes On Transmutation As a New Form of Existentialism

On the eve of Wangechi Mutu’s solo show, ‘Nguva na Nyoka’ (Sirens and Serpents) opening this October 14 2014 at London’s Victoria Miro gallery, the artist shared candid thoughts and insights on her latest body of work with Another Africa’s Joyce Bidouzo-Coudray much like what inspired her to delve into Kenya’s rich folkloric mythologies:

"The fact that women have this option to turn into these myths, these powerful, indefinable creatures – especially in a place like the coast of Kenya where the traditionally patriarchal cultures of the African Mijikenda tribes prevail – is such a testament to all the possibilities of what a woman can do in a place where she is not actually permitted to do much. That is completely inspiring to me also as an artist. So that is why I dug into it."

Wangechi Mutu

Source | anotherafrica.net

[© Wangechi Mutu. Even, 2014. ]

Image courtesy of Wangechi Mutu and Victoria Miro, London.

 

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  • 10.13.2014
  • 120 Notes

Humble Jerry Cans Transformed into Striking Political Masks

Artist Romuald Hazoumè’s modern day reinterpretations of a traditional practice – masking – speaks volumes on cultural imperialism, black markets and death. Living and working in Porto Novo and Cotonou, Hazoumè’s astute and sardonically political oeuvre is realised in a diverse and often unconventional range of media, including multi-media installation, sculpture, video, photography and painting. Using the ubiquitous plastic petrol-can as his iconic signature, Hazoumè undertakes monumental installations that act as metaphors of African place, history and identity.

Source | anotherafrica.net

Images courtesy of Romuald Hazoumè and October Gallery, London.

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  • 09.26.2014
  • 26 Notes

Next Chapter: Rowan Smith on distinguishing a new generation of practicing artists

" I think specifically from a South African context, the term ‘emerging’ could be seen as a means to distinguish a new generation of practicing artists. And I say this because in our very recent history we’ve had a distinguishing socio-political shift- the transition into a post-apartheid nation- which requires an ‘emerging’ set of visual vocabularies with which to interpret this transition. Under apartheid, Resistance art maintained a clear and important precedent. I think the precedent today for ‘emerging’ artists is far less clear and far more blurry, ambiguous and harder to define. But this also means it is very exciting/challenging to be an ‘emerging’ artist in South Africa where cultural identities are constantly shifting."

Artist Rowan Smith speaking to Another Africa’s Houghton Kinsman.

Source | anotherafrica.net

© Rowan Smith, Nothing Lasts Forever Cecil (Detail), 2014. Courtesy of the artist and Whatiftheworld Gallery, Cape Town.

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  • 09.19.2014
  • 9 Notes

Next Chapter: Mohau Modisakeng on investigating the impact of cultural histories on contemporary society

What does it mean to you to be an emerging artist working on the African continent in the 21st century?

It means that I am actively engaged with a deep-rooted culture and heritage of the African continent, which has proven to be resilient, surviving the effects of colonialism and globalization, adapting and expanding. Yet I feel like I’m both at the center of it all and simultaneously at the margins of the global cultural community.

Artist Mohau Modisakeng speaking to Another Africa’s Houghton Kinsman.

Source | anotherafrica.net

© Mohau Modisakeng, Ditaola VI, 2014. Courtesy of Mohau Modisakeng and Brundyn+,Cape Town.

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  • 09.15.2014
  • 224 Notes

Ojeikere, A Compelling Monograph on a Photographic Legend

Not since 2000 and the release of  J.D. ‘Okhai Ojeikere: Photographs has there been an extensive publication dedicated to the work of the late Nigerian photographer (1930-2014). This October at 1-54 art fair in London, a new monograph is set to launch with more than 200 photographs from Ojeikere’s archives along with critical essays that includes the artist’s final in-depth interview.

With the project in its final stage of development, Bisi Silva has launched a kickstarter campaign to complete and print the book. There are some exciting rewards on offer, such as one remaining Ojeikere archival print at £1,500 GBP with copies of the publication for donations of £70 GBP.

The campaign closes on Sept 22nd.

Visit the kickstarter page for more details.

All images courtesy of foto ojeikere and CCA,Lagos.

Source | anotherafrica.net

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  • 09.08.2014
  • 97 Notes

Are There Superheroes That Look Like You?

"I think art has a responsibility to help introduce a radical interpretation of self awareness that is engineered by its circumstances, particularly for Black and Brown people or whatever. Historically, representation in media and culture has played a role in forging a set of negative archetypes around the Black body that desperately needs to be reversed, for instance, I think not recognising yourself in the image of 99% of all fictional heroes or positive role models one is exposed to growing up must have some kind of impact on one’s sense of self?"

Bogosi Sekhukhuni

Zambian artist Milumbe Haimbe addresses the diversity gap through digital art. Her graphic novel project “Ananiya The Revolutionist” is nuanced, and radical in the face of the dearth of black, female, and genderqueer heroes.

Ananiya the Revolutionist


Read the full article on Another Africa.

Source | anotherafrica.net

Images courtesy of  Milumbe Haimbe. All rights reserved.

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  • 09.01.2014
  • 12 Notes

In Conversation with Manthe Ribane, a Soweto based Performance Artist

Manthe Ribane is a performance wunderkind. She is the muse in the NOT x Chris Saunders fashion and photography collaboration shot in Johannesburg that we’ve recently been featuring, and the last interview to close out the series.

She shares a few thoughts on her inspiration for each of the images shot by Chris Saunders.

The NOT x Vernac character is a global story. How can you define a bag that can create so many jobs around the world, protect so many lives, but still be one with you, still keep your stories and your secrets? It’s just a bag, but it’s not just a bag.  That’s the idea behind that performance. Also it was shot in the Noord, the place that connects you to every place you need to be in Joburg.

For the Not x Floyd Avenue,  outfit that character is someone who could cover the world, like a mother. I will represent, I will fight for you. It’s crazy how an outfit can just transform you. She’s wearing a crown, but she’s still wearing a dungaree. The lips are gold, meaning she spoke gold in the city of gold. For me, the face paint is both playful and powerful. Black is very dark and powerful, aggressive. But the gold keeps it godly and mysterious.

For NOT x Dr. Pachanga  character where my face is painted gold, I really felt golden. You can come from the dingiest place, but it’s about how are you going to take yourself, as trash or as golden? Nobody knows your struggle or what you’ve left behind at home, but it’s how you are going to represent yourself out to the world that matters the most.

The last shoot, the Not x Macdee giant puppet in Orange Farm was an emotional experience for me. I could see the pain in the kids eyes, waiting for hope and faith of steps further. The outfit made people laugh and excited. That feeling made me both happy and sad at the same time. I wish I had a million rand to help them all, create sport activities, art exhibitions, job creation, reading creation centers, to create a powerful journey of hope for them. I hope that the project will make people aware that life is about making a difference, and taking a dream to a beyond extraordinary expectation.

Source | anotherafrica.net

Images courtesy of Chris Saunders. All rights reserved.

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  • 08.26.2014
  • 65 Notes

Photographs in Between Place and Memory

Reviewing a monograph on Ugandan photographer Deo Kyakulagira’s archives

Photographs often testify in the court of the real. In this case, the real is a more nuanced story of life in 1950s, 60s and 70s Uganda. Deo Kyakulagira’s photographs complicate various accounts of Uganda during the Amin regime.

SOURCE | ANOTHERAFRICA.NET

All images courtesy of Deo Kyakulagira, Andrea Stultiens and History in Progress Uganda.

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  • 08.20.2014
  • 152 Notes

In Conversation with Macdonald Mfolo, an Orange Farm based Costume and Puppetmaker

Sharing insights on collaboration, the power of doing things yourself and locality.

Performance dancer Manthe Ribane who is currently on tour with Die Antwoord bring Macdee’s collaborative costume meets puppet come alive. This project is one of 4 collaborations between New York based designer Jenny Lai and creators based in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Soweto and Orange Farm.

Read the interview.

SOURCE | ANOTHERAFRICA.NET

Images courtesy of Chris Saunders. All rights reserved.

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  • 08.15.2014
  • 9 Notes

Leonce Raphael Agbodjélou | Demoiselles de Porto-Novo

Existing within the faded walls of a family home at the centre of one city’s complex history, these are the Demoiselles de Porto Novo.

As the title would suggest, the solitary figure within these images are of young women from the port city, and former capital of French Dahomey. Demoiselles de Porto-Novo the portraiture series, is part of a broader body of work and project entitled Citizens of Port-Novo by Beninois photographer Leonce Raphael Agbodjélou.

Discover more.

SOURCE | ANOTHERAFRICA.NET

Images courtesy of  Leonce Raphael Agbodjélou and Jack Bell Gallery. All rights reserved.

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  • 08.11.2014
  • 277 Notes

In Conversation with Floyd Avenue, a Soweto-based Fashion Designer

We caught up with Floyd Manotana (aka Floyd Avenue) and Smarteez member. He talks to us about fashion, inspiration and Soweto and his recent collaboration on the NOT x Chris Saunders fashion and photography project which will be shown in New York during September fashion week.

Floyd sitting in his converted studio in Dobsonville, February 2014. Photo | Chris Saunders.

Read the interview.

SOURCE | ANOTHERAFRICA.NET

Images courtesy of Chris Saunders. All rights reserved.

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  • 08.08.2014
  • 54 Notes
" Regardless of where we are, when I make a portrait, it all starts with respect. When I am approaching people to photograph, I approach them as Thabiso Sekgala, as myself first. Then I am a photographer. I always try to portray people in a very dignified way—that’s what I take from The Black Photo Album. I am getting sick and tired of seeing African people being portrayed as victims, or passive people, and always in a bad light." Thabiso Sekgala
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  • 08.04.2014
  • 19 Notes