Arena for Contemporary African, African-American and Caribbean Art

Archive: articles

Tirzo Martha. The Backside of a Painting


To him the back (of a painting) is more than a coincidental narrative; it probably even forms the plot of the story. Because Martha actually plays with space in all his works, you could call the work an example of this. But it is more. He is opening a discussion on painting as a genre and so relegating the current terminology – painting, sculpture, installation, etc. – to the past.

Rob Perrée on the art of Tirzo Martha, from Curacao.

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Prospect: good but less surprises


(…) like in former Prospects, the triennial “directs its focus southward, placing greater emphasis on art and artists that engage the Global South, specifically from North America, Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, and the European powers that colonized this region (…).

Rob Perrée reviews Prospect 4 in New Orleans.

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Owanto’s Flower Series


In her Flowers Series, Gabonese artist Owanto reminds us of how the colonial lens could sometimes go as far as invading vulnerable moments during a female initiate ceremony. One imagines a stranger looking on, into an age-old ritual and capturing private moments created to define womanhood. One wonders if that gaze leaves its own kind of mark, a scar that deeply diminishes the girls’ dignity.

Tandazani Dhlakama on the Flowers Series of the Gabonese artist Owano

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Black Sound Exhibition London


Even now the ‘black sound’ is a constantly energetic and evolving creature. With more and more cross-genre records being dropped across Dance and Pop regularly there is little doubt that black music is the mainstream sound and market leader across the Western world.

Christabel Johanson on Black Music in the UK
Poster exhibition Black Sound

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Poetry from South-Africa


Following in the footsteps of their predecessors, this new generation has taken up the social and revolutionary potential of poetry; they have grasped it between two hands, stretched it, pulled it apart, and moulded it back together in their own way, with an array of multi-disciplinary influences from hip-hop, jazz, visual art, film, and performance.

Candice Allison on poetry in South-Africa
Robin Rhode, The Moon is Asleep, 2015. Super 8mm film transferred to digital HD, duration 1 min 50 sec, images courtesy of the artist and Stevenson Gallery.

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