Alpha Crucis - Contemporary African Art

By Kisito Assangni - Thursday, April 2, 2020
Alpha Crucis -  Contemporary African Art

Alpha Crucis underlines the originality and diversity of African artists who live and work in sub-Saharan Africa. The exhibition curated by André Magnin brings together three generations of artists who mostly live in large urban centres. It is not what they have in common that unites them, nor what kind of subject matter upon which they draw, but the necessities they have followed and what they lead us to think about.

Image: Victor Omar Diop, Nanny et Quao, 2016

 

Alpha Crucis underlines the originality and diversity of African artists who live and work in sub-Saharan Africa.

The exhibition curated by André Magnin brings together three generations of artists who mostly live in large urban centres. It is not what they have in common that unites them, nor what kind of subject matter upon which they draw, but the necessities they have followed and what they lead us to think about.

 

Installation by Romuald Hazoumé

 

Their works are steeped in their political and religious context, their encounters and their experiences. Whether they have an academic training, whether they have inherited traditions or are ‘self-taught’, they create art without being concerned with historical models. They trace their own paths, they invent themselves, they create worlds, allowing themselves every liberty and experiment.  Art is a language and access to languages allows us access to society, to the world.

Alpha Crucis is the brightest star in the constellation of the Southern Cross, located in the Milky Way. It is one of the most visible in the night sky and indicates the direction of the South. As such, it is often used by navigators, but the star is only visible from the southern hemisphere. For that reason, it was not mentioned in European antique astronomy. The tilte ‘Alpha Crucis’ makes a statement advocating a reorientation of the polarised art world towards the south, in order to fight the ignorance that has endured too long and to shed new light on contemporary African art.

 

Victor Omar Diop, Nanny et Quao, 2016

 

The exhibition gathers seventeen artists from seven African countries. The artists originate from numerous countries, belong to different generations and have diverse practices. The exhibition thus shows an impressive diversity in terms of materials, techniques and narratives.

Artists:  Seyni Awa Camara (1945, Senegal), Omar Victor Diop (1980, Senegal), John Goba (1944-2019, Sierra Leone), Kay Hassan (1956, South Africa), Romuald Hazoumé (1962, Benin), Nicholas Hlobo (1975, South Africa), Lebohang Kganye (1990, South Africa), Houston Maludi (1978, DR Congo), Abu Bakarr Mansaray (1970, Sierra Leone), Senzeni Marasela (1977, South Africa), JP Mika (1980, DR Congo), Fabrice Monteiro (1972, Benin/Senegal), Rigobert Nimi (1965, DR Congo), Wura-Natasha Ogunji (1970, Nigeria), Chéri Samba (1956, DR Congo), Amadou Sanogo (1977, Mali), Billie Zangewa (1973, South Africa).

 

Fabrice Monteiro, The Prophecy, 2015

 

André Magnin is a French curator who has a long-standing relationship with Africa, and possesses a deep level of insight, knowledge and experience regarding various local art scenes on the African continent. Magnin was one of the main curators behind the legendary ‘Magiciens de la Terre’ at Centre Pompidou and Grande Halle de la Villette in Paris in 1989, which was the first exhibition to simultaneously display art works by contemporary artists from all of the world’s continents in one place.

 

Astrup Fearnley Museet, Until 17 May 2020

Kisito Assangni is a Togolese-French curator, art consultant, and farmer who studied museology at Ecole du Louvre in Paris. Currently living between UK, France and Togo, his research focuses primarily on psychogeography and the cultural impact of globalisation. He investigates the modes of cultural production that combine theory and practice. He inherently aims at going beyond the usual relations between artist, curator, institution, audience, and artwork in order to engage audiences in encounters with art that are unexpected, transformative, and fun. His discursive public programs and exhibitions have been shown internationally, including the Venice Biennale; ZKM Museum, Karlsruhe; Whitechapel Gallery, London; Centre of Contemporary Art, Glasgow; Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney; Malmo Konsthall, Sweden; Torrance Art Museum, Los Angeles; Es Baluard Museum of Art, Palma, Spain; National Centre for Contemporary Arts, Moscow; Marrakech Biennale among others. Assangni has participated in talks, seminars, and symposia at numerous institutions such as the British Museum, London; Palais de Tokyo, Paris; Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC; Ben Uri Museum, London; Pori Art Museum, Finland; Kunsthall 3.14, Bergen (Norway); Bamako Encounters Photography Biennial, Mali; Sala Rekalde Foundation, Bilbao; COP17 Summit, South Africa; Depart Foundation, Malibu (USA); Sint-Lukas University, Brussels; Motorenhalle Centre of Contemporary Art, Dresden (Germany); Kunsthalle Sao Paulo, Brazil; Museo d’Arte Contemporanea Ticino, Switzerland. Assangni is the founder of TIME is Love Screening (International video art program) and art advisor for Latrobe Regional Gallery in Victoria, Australia.

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