I was struck by the historical and geographical rootedness of particular artists even as they (or their work) may travel across borders. In a world where borders are rigidly controlled, which of the artists have enjoyed relatively free movement, and which have not? Exhibitions that are so deliberately curated would benefit from giving more attention to their texts. There is potential for critical and creative dialogues between curators, artists, writers and art historians.
As other artists and scholars have targeted ethnographical museums effectively, questioning their colonial heritage, Nazareth adds elements of his personal history to the discourse. While loosely knitting together elements and fragments of histories and his own adventures, Nazareth’s actions evoke a sense of a search for fairness. It seems as if loops and holes exist, little pockets of time and space in between his performances, his writing, in the way he talks his mix of languages, his broken English, that provide room for interpretation and for engagement.
Machteld Leij on Paulo Nazareth.
Untitled (from the Para Venda [for sale] series), 2011.
“I was captivated by it. It convinced me of the power of limitless, passionate phantasy, of storytelling as a concept and of sadness in combination with liberating humor. It proved the artificiality of the difference between low art and high art and, yes, it showed that Darger has looked over his shoulder.”
Rob Perrée on the work of Trenton Doyle Hancock.
A photo competition and a photo festival. Both activities have the same aim. They want to change the misconception of Africa. Festival director Azu Nwagbogu says: “We want to form an answer to the stereotypical images of poverty, conflict and famine with which the photographic representation of the continent is infested.” A member of the Agility jury uses comparable words: “We need the world to see how vibrant cities like Lagos, Luanda and Nairobi are; how innovation in technology is improving the lives of millions, and how manufacturing and new industries are helping transform economies from aid-based to service and knowledge economies.”
Jorrit Dijkstra reports on the Agility Photo Competition and previews LagosPhoto.
(…) from the overwhelming restrictions in Tehran to the growing freedom of artistic expression in Kenya, Bolouri has found a small platform in Nairobi, where she can express the senselessness of certain norms that persist in society. Subtly expressing the thoughts that many of us think but don’t dare voice, this bold, observant artist doesn’t care if she has to dance alone.
Zihan Kassam on the work of Maral Bolouri.
The Holy Women, 2015.
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