As Fitsum incessantly contemplates the human form and condition, his artwork continues to transcend pre-existing conceptions about African art and it seems his personal capacity to sympathize with the human predicament continues to grow.
Given his unease with institutional rhetoric, and charming disinterest in ‘integrating into the circuits of contemporary art’; Dokolo intentionally operates from the edge. From where he wishes to be ‘uncomfortable’ and somewhat ill-at-ease with what is intended for the collection every time it is broken up for exhibition. In order, as he describes it, everything is challenged; the artworks, the collection, and their collective interests. Because for Dokolo “if it’s not painful, if it doesn’t hurt then we are not doing something right.”
Rajesh Punj on the collector of contemporary African art Sindika Dokolo
As many of the readers of this magazine know, I am an art critic, not an opera critic – or even an opera fan. My interest in this production was simple: I wanted to see what would happen when a formidable African American concept artist like Kara Walker confronted and re-interpreted a cornerstone of European culture.
Shelley Rice on Kara Walker’s stage design, set design and costumes for Bellini’s opera Norma as presented in Venice.
Photo Michele Crosera.
Approaching the Pavilion itself feels like a form of travel through time and space: the exhibition is mounted on the second floor of the Palazzo Pisani Moretta, a Baroque Venetian palace on the Grand Canal that now houses the Conservatorio Benedetto Marcello. In order to reach the installations, one traverses a richly decorated entrance hall to the sound of music students convening and rehearsing.
Allison K. Young on the Angolan Pavilion at the Venice Biennale
Victor Ehikhamenor grew up seeing symbolic paintings and drawings on shrine-walls in the village of his birth. Upon maturity, after he received a drawing book for school, he began to imitate the wall drawings on paper. Four decades later, some of those walls have crumbled; the artist retains, however, a copy of that drawing book. He carries it in his memory.
Emmanuel Iduma on recent drawings of Victor Ehikhamenor.
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