In Frankfurt, Gqunta summons her ancestors via her dreams to reassociate herself with her alienated and alienating inheritance. She reclaims severed connections between herself, the land and that which grows on it, as well as the physical, mental and emotional implications of that process. In her hands, the ugliness of South Africa’s famous landscape is revealed. After all, how beautiful can a garden really be when it’s on stolen land? https://www.frieze.com/article-lungiswa-gqunta-zollamt-mmk-review-2021 Image: Lungiswa Gqunta, 'Tending to the Harvest of Dreams', 2021, installation view, ZOLLAMT MMK, Frankfurt. Courtesy: the artist and MMK, Frankfurt; photograph: Diana Pfammatter
My review of Januario Jano's solo exhibition at Frankfurt Gallery Jean Claude Maier "Arquivo Mestre" appears in the September 2021 Issue of Frieze Magazine (#221). It is also available online titled "Januário Jano’s Elegy to Angola's Stolen Land": https://www.frieze.com/article/januario-jano-arquivo-mestre-2021-review Image: ©Paula Rego on the cover of Frieze Magazine #221. A review of a group show titled "Sweat" at Munich's Haus der Kunst marks my debut for Texte zur Kunst: #123 September 2021 https://www.textezurkunst.de/123/i-just-wanna-make-you-sweat/
The book 'The Journey: New Positions in African Photography' collects fascinating work by African photographers produced between 2008 and 2018. However, there are lingering questions about who gets to see it: taking stock after the strongest decade of “African Photography” >>>>>DE https://www.monopol-magazin.de/new-positions-african-photography?slide=1 >>>>EN https://griotmag.com/en/taking-stock-after-the-strongest-decade-of-african-photography/
Image: © Ibrahim Thiam "Maam Coumba Bang", 2017, from "The Journey, New Positions in African Photography"
Januário Jano’s Elegy to Angola's Stolen Land: At Jean Claude Maier, Frankfurt am Main, the artist samples from institutions that continue to hoard his native country's heritage, connecting the dots between Christianity and the Angolan textile cultures lost to colonial practices. https://www.frieze.com/article/januario-jano-arquivo-mestre-2021-review Image: Januário Jano, ‘Arquivo Mestre’, 2021, exhibition view, Jean Claude Maier, Frankfurt am Main. Courtesy: the artist and Jean Claude Maier
This New Indie Magazine Is Off To Kinshasa. After the inaugural issue explored everybody's darling, Accra, the second issue of ground-breaking independent print magazine OFF TO heads to the elusive megalopolis in the Democratic Republic of Congo. https://griotmag.com/en/this-new-indie-magazine-is-off-to-kinshasa/ Image: © Nizar Saleh Courtesy OFF TO Kinshasa Issue
Oath Magazine Is Feeding The Curiosity For New Photography From Africa. Published in Cape Town, the dazzling inaugural issue navigates a rich landscape of contemporary image-making on the continent and sets a high bar for itself and for others. https://griotmag.com/en/oath-magazine-is-feeding-the-curiosity-for-new-photography-from-africa/ Image: ©Arinze Rodney/ Courtesy Oath Magazine
White Cube never clarifies why Martens believes it is progressive for landless labourers to have to raise money to buy back land that was stolen from them and, ultimately, perpetuates the very form of exploitation that the artist is criticizing. Founding the Lusanga post-plantation on a logic of ownership that reifies colonial theft within a supposedly forward-thinking art project is ‘anti-politics’, to use a term coined by American anthropologist James Ferguson. https://www.frieze.com/article/renzo-martenss-fraught-attempt-change-art-world Image: Screenshot "White Cube" 2020. © Institute for Human Activities & the Artist
Sandra Mujinga's Spectral Figures Evoke Dark Histories and a Murky Present. At the heart of the artist's work is a critique of the violence of representation https://www.frieze.com/article/sandra-mujinga-spectral-figures-2021 Image: Spectral Figures 2021 (Installation View) 2021 courtesy of the Artist and Approach Gallery, London
Bringing Art, Iconography And The Legacy Of Angela Davis together the exhibition '1 Million Roses for Angela' seeks to draw a line from the "Free Angela" campaign to ongoing social justice conversations today https://griotmag.com/en/1-million-roses-the-exhibition-bringing-art-iconography-and-the-legacy-of-angela-davis-together/
Trotz Corona: Einige Ausstellungen konnten wir 2020 doch sehen: Die Monopol-Redaktion hat gemeinsam mit Autorinnen und Autoren des Magazin die Kunst-Highlights des Jahres gewählt. Die meisten Nennungen erhält Hito Steyerl. Und: So viele Galerieausstellungen wurden selten genannt. https://www.monopol-magazin.de/ausstellungen-des-jahres-2020 Bild: Hito Steyerls Arbeit "Hell Yeah We Fuck Die" (2016) im K21 Düsseldorf ©dpa
In Christie Neptune’s 4-minute video work Memories from Yonder (2015), she interviewed elderly female immigrant seniors from Guyana to find out what happens when one’s cultural foundations have shifted because of a new cultural landscape. She weaves together her own family narrative with the story of the 90-year old Eubora Calder who crochets a red bundle of yarn while speaking about her immigrant experience in the US. Her fondest memory, she recalls, was crocheting by the window while watching the snow fall. A popular recreational activity among Guyanese women, crocheting for Neptune takes on symbolic meaning. It is a mode of home maintenance, a way of reasserting over and over again that a place is home, so much so that the act itself becomes a proxy home. http://griotmag.com/en/artists-guyana-thinking-liminal-spaces-migration/ Image: video stills from Memories from Yonder, 2015 © Christie Neptune
Wiredu does not shy away from heavier, bitter-sweet, themes, though those looking for melancholia will be disappointed. She writes about teenage escapades (Back home, strict folks), shadism in school (I was called purple), Identity (the heaviness of expectation), immigrants and Brexit (he told me he voted leave), single mothers (she had three cleaning jobs and me) and ultimately about the generational survival that many immigrants in the UK, and literally everywhere else are forced to be extremely good at (eventually at 63, hobbling to work with your back pain, your children will study, get good jobs, do well). http://griotmag.com/en/adjoa-wiredus-reflection-moments-flight-nothing-new-evocative-debut-collection-charmingly-honest-poetry/ Image: Paris market with umbrella, women, 2017. © Adjoa Wiredu
A place in the sun, (German: Ein Platz in der Sonne) is a phrase heavy with longing. It is credited to the Foreign affairs Minister of the German Empire, Bernhard von Bülow. Referring to the parliamentary debate about the empire’s colonial ambitions in 1897, he said “we do not want to put anyone in the shade, but we also demand our place in the sun”. His words marked the early beginnings of a 30-year colonial empire: from China’s Kiautschou Bay to ‘German Southwest Africa’ and beyond, an empire that was outlived by a distinct longing. The phrase depended on the jolly images that it produced in people’s minds. Despite its seemingly harmless connotations, It became a metaphor for a counterintuitive dual fantasy in which domination met urlaub: put differently, it significantly blurred the lines between German colonial nostalgia and the ‘right’ to enjoy holidays in a sunnier part of the world at any given time. Interview with Frankfurt Photographer Ana Paula Dos Santos http://griotmag.com/en/arts-photography-frankfurt-photographer-ana-paula-dos-santos-deconstructs-place-sun-series/ Image: Untitled (Deconstructing a Place in the Sun), 2015 © Ana Paula Dos Santos
[ENG] Why Restitution Won’t Happen If Europe Controls the Terms. Charges of ‘attempted theft of a cultural asset’ against Congolese activist Mwazulu Diyabanza reveal the abyss of Europe’s self-referential legality https://www.frieze.com/article/why-restitution-wont-happen-if-europe-controls-terms.
[DE] Wer ist hier der Dieb? Ein mutmaßlicher Pariser »Beutekunstdieb« legt die Abgründe eurozentristischer Legalität offen https://www.akweb.de/gesellschaft/pariser-beutekunstdieb-angriff-auf-eurozentrische-realitaet/ Image/Bild: © Mwazulu Diyabanza by Elliot Verdier
Muzi, the 29-year-old South African musician-producer making waves across continents was dubbed “golden boy” when he entered the scene for the lightness and funk of his music. However, Muzi’s journey started long before his appearances on the world stage, in the township in Empangeni, some 140KM north of Durban, where he first started to envision his place in music. Bolstered by the support of his mother, and soaking up the sounds of the time, his roots have consistently played a significant role in his music. This is most obvious in his wide-ranging blend of music influenced by urban and electronica with a host of South African genres like Maskandi, Kwaito, Iscathamiya and Bubblegum Pop of the 80s and 90s. http://griotmag.com/en/mama-ep-muzi/ Image: © clout killed the kids
My review of Larry W. Cook's solo exhibition at Weiss Berlin appears in the October 2020 Issue of Frieze Magazine (#214). It is also available online under the title "Larry W. Cook Photographs the Vulnerability of Black Fatherhood": https://www.frieze.com/article/larry-w-cook-photographs-vulnerability-black-fatherhood Image: Promotional still from Carmen Jones (1954) starring Harry Belafonte and Dorothy Dandridge as seen on John Akomfrah's © work "Our Skin is a Monument" (2020) on the cover of Frieze Magazine #214.
At the beginning of the present pandemic, there seemed to be a curious, newfound appreciation for art. Social media was awash with elegies at the realization that art fairs would be cancelled, galleries closed, and highly anticipated exhibitions postponed indefinitely. Various non-artist stakeholders in the art world declared that art was the only thing that we had in the face of unprecedented adversity. https://www.contemporaryand.com/magazines/when-artists-speak/ Image: The Metropolitan Museum of Art © The Metropolitan Museum of Art NYC.
Initially installed on Kassel's main Square, the work earned Olu Oguibe the prestigious 2017 Arnold Bode Prize, but was also met with indignation for what some right-wing politicians read as a provocation in the midst of the raging debate on Germany’s asylum policy. The 16.3-metre-tall concrete obelisk bears the inscription: ‘I was a stranger and you took me in’ – a verse from the New Testament’s Gospel of Matthew – in gold letters in German, English, Arabic and Turkish. While Monument remains Oguibe’s best-known piece, his current solo exhibition at Vienna’s Galerie Kandlhofer demonstrates his sustained engagement with forms of memorialization. https://www.frieze.com/article/olu-oguibe-creates-monuments-precarity-survival Image: Olu Oguibe, Many Thousand Gone (detail), 2000, ink on acid-free watercolour paper. Courtesy: the artist and Galerie Kandlhofer, Vienna; Photograph by ©Manuel Carreon-Lopez / kunst-dokumentation.com
Born in Senegal, educated in Japan and currently based in Germany, Kuwaiti visual artist Monira al Qadiri came of age during the rapid transformation of Kuwait from one of the world’s oldest civilizations to a giant of the oil industry. From the beginning of her career, she has paid attention to the turmoil caused by prosperity, religion, and rapid societal transformation. Her performance, sculpture and video work also explores unconventional gender identities, petro-cultures and speculative futures. ENG http://griotmag.com/en/monira-al-qadiri-on-the-end-of-oil-and-documenting-petro-culture-for-a-post-oil-world/ GER https://www.monopol-magazin.de/kuenstlerin-monira-al-qadiri Image: "Diver" (2018) © Monira Al Kadiri
Black Is King is a timely affirmation for the global African diaspora, but it can’t be accepted as a universal representation of global Blackness. Its biggest problem is not visible within its frames, but has an intangible, hovering presence. Beyoncé’s promise to ‘present elements of Black history and African tradition, with a modern twist and a universal message’ is compromised by the project’s very foundation: The Lion King ontology, which is the ongoing belief that Disney’s fictional imaginary is an adequate basis to appraise the varieties of contemporary global Blackness. https://www.frieze.com/article/black-king-beyonce-doesnt-share-crown Image: ©Travis Matthews/Disney/Parkwood Ent.