africanah.org

Arena for Contemporary African, African-American and Caribbean Art

Author: Matt Kayem

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Uganda’s Inaugural at the Venice Biennale

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“………for the 59th edition of the event, Uganda made its first appearance. For a country that has been accused of having no art, this was an unprecedented. And for a country where the National Theatre was put up for sale by the unscrupulous of its putrescent government in favor of an investor erecting a shopping mall!

Matt Kayem on his country at the Venice Biennial
Collin Sekajugo, Stock Image 020 – Too Late, 2022. Ⓒ Collin Sekajugo Studio

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Sanaa Gateja: Radical Care

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Gateja’s work is also very reminiscent of traditional African craftworks like basket and mat weaving. It must be a conscious choice for a goldsmith like himself who trained in Europe and comes back to search and discover better gold in traditional techniques that his forefathers perfected a long time ago. It is his way of keeping these practices alive but also adding his own spin to the magic.

Matt Kayem on the work of Sanaa Gateja from Uganda
A new day, 2020, Paper beads on bark cloth, 214 x 144cm

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Xenson

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The work on show is clearly the artist’s response to the covid-19 pandemic. The artist is among the few that have veered away from their usual themes in their works to tackle an immediate issue. He relays in the catalogue under the exhibition brief that when he was going through his sketch book at the beginning of the pandemic, he found sketches of figures wearing masks which he couldn’t remember where the inspiration came from.

Matt Kayem on the work of Xenson
Lumina. 2020

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Pamela Elizabeth Acaye Kerunen

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There is no day that I will stand and pretend that I wove the mats or the bags, I mean, that would be a blatant lie but in terms of taking these pieces as additive spices to tell a new story that involves their work, yes, that makes me the artist.

Matt Kayem in conversation with Pamela Elizabeth Acaye Kerunen
Kakare, 2021

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Remmy Sserwadda

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Remmy’s short coming however lies in his inability to zero down on a particular subject or themes that he could dance around to make a whole. He wobbles around multiple ideas that he fails to link into one.

Matt Kayem reviews the work of Remmy Sserwadda.
What’s Up, 2020

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