The show AquiAfrica [HereAfrica] reveals contemporary Africa through the eyes of its artists, who discuss themes like immigration, racism, ecology, consumerism, cultural traditions and the power systems in the continent. Including paintings, photos, drawings, sculptures, video and installations, the selection comprises works by thirteen artists from eleven countries from the sub-Saharan Africa, like Omar Ba (b. 1977, Senegal) and Barthélémy Toguo (b. 1967, Cameroon), who will come to Brazil to create a major installation for the opening, on the week of the Day of the Black Consciousness (November 20th).
The show also includes, among others, Frédéric Bruly Bouabré (1923, Ivory Coast – 2014, idem), considered one of the most original African artists, discovered in the exhibition “Les Magiciens de la Terre”, at Centre Georges Pompidou in 1989, the same exhibition that revealed the painter Chéri Samba (b. 1956, Congo), also participating in AquiAfrica. The filmmaker Abderrahmane Sissako (b. 1961, da Mauritania), who has had two films exhibited at the Festival de Cannes, is another highlight of the show.
For curator Adelina von Fürstenberg (who received, in May 2015, the Gold Lion for the curatorship of the Armenian National Pavilion at the 56th Venice Biennale), African contemporary art deals with an identity question. “If traditional art is still deeply anchored in the world and the African being, new art favours a shared social identity. Defining African art today is defining Africa itself”.
- Chéri Samba, Le Commun des Politiciens, 2002,. Acrylic and glitter on canvas, 200 x 330 cm. Courtesy of Sesc Belenzinho
- Leonce Raphael Agbodjelou, Untitled, from the Vodu series. Chromogenic print on photographic paper, 95 x 67 cm. Courtesy of Sesc Belenzinho
- Omar Ba, Africa Now, 2015. Oil, acrylic and crayon on corrugated paperboard, 200 x 130cm. Courtesy of Sesc Belenzinho