Arena for Contemporary African, African-American and Caribbean Art

Archive: articles

Tracy Rose: Shooting Down Babylon

RoseShooting Down Babylon 113

It is remarkable how snugly Rose’s work fits into a museum or gallery. In spite of the unsettling manner she attacks most of her topics- racism, white supremacy, female empowerment, occluded colored identity- they are frequently layered with a veneer of artistic respectability. They are also marked by a pliability that attracts considerable commercial possibilities.

Sanya Osha on the work of Tracey Rose
Installation View Shooting Down Babylon, Zeitz Mocaa, Cape Town, 2022

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Simone Leigh


By working with the energy of this truth in her work rather than historical fact, Leigh reclaims the narrative and space independent from the timeline of colonialisation. In this way she achieves the eponymous state of “sovereignty”.

Christabel Johanson on Simone Leigh
Last Garment, 2022.

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Kenneth Aidoo


He decides to make series of portraits of black men, heroes, courageous soldiers, sometimes also influential women, who lived in a time or operated under circumstances in which their blackness had no negative connotation. Figures that are wrongly missing in the canon.

Rob Perrée on the work of Kenneth Aidoo.
Black is the color of my true loves hair, 2022

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Under Projects: an empty room for testing out ideas for works and shows

Under Projects - After renovations, prior to opening, Early September

Under Project is primarily an empty room that’s publicly visible. After that, it’s a lot of programming, and curating, and emailing, and installing, and printing flyers on our end.
But that first point –an empty room for testing out ideas for works and shows– is really important, especially as it becomes increasingly rare in Cape Town.

Misha Krynauw talks with Mitchell Messina about Under Projects.
Under Projects: After renovation, prior to opening

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Trenton Doyle Hancock


“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.

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