africanah.org

Arena for Contemporary African, African-American and Caribbean Art

Author: Sasha Dees

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Contemporary African Art a hype?

onyismartinuntitled2016

When and how do we address subjects as race and nationality in the global contemporary art context? The Canon should never be cast in stone. The current times call for new definitions and wording that are accepted and intelligible by all working in the arts internationally. Wording that reflects our time, is decolonized, inclusive and self-evident of our global context.

Is contemporary African Art a hype? Sasha Dees ‘feeds’ the conversation.
Onyis Martin, Untitled, 2016.

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Ebony G. Patterson

EPCover

“There is a challenge being made about seeing and looking. The seeing is what happens on social media, but the looking is what I’m asking you to do. The looking requires thought, it requires engagement, it requires awareness, it requires inquiry, and it requires presence.”

Sasha Dees quotes Ebony G. Patterson
II Rosez (detail), 2014.

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Sweet Boys & Butch Girls: activism in (gay) art

AfricanahSashaartikelopeningpicture-muholi-abakhaphi

We impose our opinions, our norms and morals onto those others or, even worse, we fight and go to war to basically weep them out or conquer them. Geography, religion, spirituality, traditions, ethnicity, gender, race, sexuality, we human beings have defined many ways to separate ourselves from “the other”. Will we ever actually see, respect and value all that includes humanity? Can art be a tool in this struggle?

Sasha Dees on activism in (gay)art
Abakhaphi at Promise & Gift’s Wedding II, Daveyton, 2013.

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Christopher Cozier

CC1

“The pressure is for you to make yourself available/visible but in that process you become static…fixed… it means you stand in one place in a way that is so tangible that you can easily be bypassed or placed … as opposed to being as mobile as you always have been. It’s a tricky thing. People are saying to you – I want to see you, but this is the lens I have. And then you say: that’s your lens, I don’t know what I have to be to be seen… but I think I want to go there.”

Sasha Dees interviews Christopher Cozier.
That Tree, mixed media on paper, 2012. Courtesy: David Krut Gallery / Artist

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Iris Kensmil

IrisPortrait

“In order to find her reflection, culture and history Iris Kensmil followed the footsteps of fellow Dutchmen from Holland to Suriname to America to Ghana and Indonesia and back. She has given us a tangible trail of not only her but our own reflection, culture and history.”

The conclusion of Sasha Dees in her article on the Dutch/Surinamese artist Iris Kensmil.

Iris Kensmil

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