Join us at AKAA – Also Known As Africa, 10-12 November 2017, Carreau du Temple, Paris – the first art fair in France devoted to African contemporary art and design. The fair will showcase 38 international galleries from 28 countries.
Artists represented at AKAA include Asanda Kupa (South Africa), Nicola Brandt (Namibia) and Jo Rogge (Namibia/South Africa). For more information please email us. We have some free tickets available for the Vernissage – just register here.
Asanda Kupa’s (b.1981) work is grounded by the experiences of those forced to the periphery of ‘The New South Africa’, despite its great re-birth. Kupa’s scenes depict the chaos and energy of life for many of South Africa’s subjugated black population, a life that is defined by struggle and by lack of access to basic resources. Kupa is concerned with how the new political regime has failed its people – the very people who brought it to power through their own sacrifice – whilst also celebrating the self-determining spirit that marks a long history of civic action. Protest, spurred by grass-roots community frustration, is a central theme of his work. His series of striking crowd scenes, inspired by the Marikana mine-worker massacre of 2012, shows militant action not only as an expression of fury, but also a place of refuge and hope in post-apartheid South Africa. See Asanda’s AKAA catalogue here and explore his online exhibition La Mazwi Apethe Ubulumko (There is Meaning In These Words). You can also find lithographs by Asanda on the website here.
Nicola Brandt’s (b.1983) extraordinary photography reflects on the painful history of the colonisation of Namibia – a period not forgotten by the Ovaherero and Nama people. Brandt interrogates the long Romantic tradition of benign depictions of dramatic landscapes that still dominate the marketing of Namibia – such depictions also veil the memories of the violence of the 1904-1908 German-Herero-Nama wars. After being invited to wear the Herero dress, originally introduced by missionaries and still worn today by Herero women, Brandt shares many hours of discussions over three years with Uakondjisa Kakuekuee Mbari, a friend and fellow protagonist. Together they explore their entangled colonial histories. As the artist seeks to record the invisible in the landscape and how related memories (and amnesia) are situated in place, she turns the camera back onto herself and draws attention to the dualities that still pervade the land and the histories that mark it.
Jo Rogge’s (b.1963) work is an attempt to render and navigate highly intense emotive states, provoked by a world fraught with conflict. Conflicts surrounding the body, especially bodies in precarious positions, are central to her work. In her new series, ‘O is for Other’, her own life experiences provide much of the emotional charge. The human body, as a fragment or even as an idea, is used by Rogge as an intuitive language for deciphering and deliberating over our emotional lives and experiences. She uses the bodily form as a conduit for probing fundamental beliefs about gender, body politics, identity, and sexuality. Through her fluid renderings of bodily gendered expression, she calls into question the dichotomous notions of ‘male’ and ‘female’, challenges heteronormative assumptions, and creates a new crucible for queer voices. At the same time, she poses uncomfortable questions about difference and belonging. See Jo’s AKAA catalogue here and explore the special online exhibition ‘Limbs and Longing‘.
We are also pleased to be collaborating with First Floor Gallery Harare on an exciting Special Project at AKAA, with Duck and Rabbit Projects (Arlene Wandera and Richard Zeiss). Find their catalogue here. Last but not least, work by Thina Dube will be presented as part of AKAA Underground with Partnership Editions.