Arena for Contemporary African, African-American and Caribbean Art

Author: Allison Young

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Sokari Douglas Camp

SokariBlindLoveandGrace2015 at 5: We celebrate the 5th anniversary of this magazine with the re-publication of a number of remarkable essays or interviews. The last article in this series is on Sokari Douglas Camp, written by Allison Young, first published May 8, 2016.

While the Nigerian-born artist has become renowned for her sculptural adaptations of traditional Kalabari masks, and for her pointed critiques of Western museological displays of African visual culture objects, this exhibition shows the artist, instead, in dialogue with the history of Western art.

Allison Young on the Nigerian artist Sokari Douglas Camp
Blind Love and Grace, 2015.

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Renzo Martens Congo Project

CongoThomas Leba_Poisonous Mistake (2)

“If one can search beyond that particular veneer, one would find a version of Martens’ critique articulated not by the Dutch spokesman, but by the individual creators of the sculptures on view. The most rewarding result of this minimizing of Martens’ authorship is that this gesture allows the opening up a whole new view of the works themselves, which have been shown in previous exhibitions but, it seems, never confronted deeply and in their own right.”

Allison Young on the Congo project of Renzo Martens.
Thomas Leba, A Poisonous Miracle (detail), 2015.

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The Angolan Pavilion at the Venice Biennial


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

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