Welcome to eye.on.art special bimonthly newsletter. We finished the last days of April in Yaounde, Cameroon, where Fondation Paul Ango Ela hosted Cameroon’s 2nd Convention on Creative Entreprises and Industries commissioned by the Ministry of Arts and Culture as part of its cooperation with France, in a bid to assess the country’s current cultural landscape, its challenges and develop proposals contributing to the development of new cultural policies.
Interestingly Cameroonian art professionals have established themselves among the list of movers and shakers of the African and global contemporary art scene. Among the current and upcoming events involving Cameroonian curators, the 12th edition of Dak’Art: Biennale of Contemporary African Art curated by Simon Njami, opening 3rd May. Entitled Re-enchantment, the main exhibition invites artists to “invent new ways to re-enchant the world and the continent”, and reclaim the “dream of a liberated Africa”. With this project, Njami is setting out to introduce of “a new energy, a new creativity, a new momentum” to biennial. The international exhibition features 66 artists from Africa and the Diaspora and includes a Special Projects section. Visit Dak’Art website here.
Opening in New York 6 – 8 May, 1:54 – Contemporary African Art Fair.
1:54 New York 2016 will showcase 17 exhibitors, presenting over 60 African and Diaspora artists at Pioneer Works in Brooklyn. 1:54 was initiated in 2013 by Touria El Glaoui in London. May 2016 marks the second edition of 1:54 New York. The fair is also accompanied by an educational and artistic programme curated by Koyo Kouoh and includes lectures, film screenings and panel debates featuring leading international curators, artists and art experts.
Koyo Kouoh recently launched Still (The) Barbarians, EVA International 2016, Ireland’s Biennial. This edition also inaugurates the Federation, a network of affiliated institutions and organisations responding to the Centenary of Ireland’s Easter Rising. The Federation brings together programmes that correspond with one another and with Kouoh’s curatorial project through shared communications, joint events, talks and screenings. This year’s featured project is Murder Machine curated by Christine Eyene in collaboration with Ormston House, Cultural Resource Centre, Limerick.
Murder Machine revisits issues around the English language in the colonisation process in Ireland, drawing parallels with African contexts and literature. The project’s main feature is the installation One out of many Afrophilias (2014) by The Otolith Group who will be in conversation with Christine Eyene at Ormston House on 11 May. Is also programmed the premiere of a new sound piece by Lancaster-based Irish artist Linda O’Keeffe 12 May.
Later this month Making Histories Visible (MHV) will have the pleasure of welcoming Françoise Vergès as part of the MHV Lecture Series, with the support of the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) Distinguished Visitor Programme. A political scientist, activist, feminist, recently appointed Chair of Global South(s) at Fondation Maison des Sciences de l’Homme, Paris, Vergès has published extensively on postcolonial theory, creolization, psychoanalysis, slavery and the economy of predation, Frantz Fanon and Aimé Césaire. More information coming soon.
Calls and opportunities
eye.on.art is welcoming submissions of Dak’Art 2016 reviews in English by Africa-based art critics. The selected piece(s) will be remunerated. Interested writers can contact eye.on.art editorial for more information on firstname.lastname@example.org, mentioning “Dak’Art review” in the subject line. Deadline 20 May.
Afrikaada is launching the 1st African Art Book Fair (AABF) during Dak’Art 2016. AABF is a fair dedicated to art publications, and includes a forum with conversations around art publishing, photography, design, experimental music, open culture and activism. By underlining best practice, AABF aims to offer practitioners from these fields a context in which they can maintain their integrity, critical voice and social relevancy. AABF invites support from African arts and publishing stakeholders through membership, crowdfunding and donations.
Finally, the 2nd Edition of Kampala Art Biennale 2016 (3 Sept – 2 Oct 2016), curated by Elise Atangana, is calling for visual artists, designers, architects, digital innovators from Africa and beyond to explore how the digital era impacts on movements, representation, and practices in our daily lives.
Entitled Seven Hills, referring to the 7 hills that historically surrounded the city, the biennial is engaging with mobilities studies and addresses shifts in physical and virtual movements and how these affect the lives of people from Kampala and the Eastern African sub-region.
More information on the Virtual Mobilities open call here. Deadline 30 May.
Watch this space for more art news!