Thursday, 2 August 2007

Art Evening at Jack Shainman Gallery

In the colour line curated by Donald Odita
Sent in by Nigerian Artist Ugochukwu-Smooth C. Nzewi
In The Colour Line
exhibition curated by the Nigerian artist/curator Odili Donald Odita, opened on July 4 at Jack Shainman Gallery in Chelsea, New York. The show had made the final shortlist of proposals for the African Pavilion at the ongoing Venice Biennale. I had left Omi Village, Ghent, near Hudson in Columbia County where I had been participating in the Art Omi International Artists Residency Program, on the invitation of Olu Oguibe one of the exhibiting artists. It was an evening of sprawling guests and great works of art. It was funny to me at the opening because it reminded me of a show I saw at Michael Stevenson Gallery in Cape Town last year.
Installation view(culled from gallery website)
The exhibition stylishly titled Distant Relatives/Relative Distance, sought to reunite Diasporan artists with double allegiance - one to Africa and, to their operating base in the major metropolises of the West (read as Diaspora) - and the continent. Except I am mistaking, it was intended to showcase international artists with renown; whose practices and affirmations are contrived in the metropolises of Euro-America but who could claim some roots in the African continent. This show in my opinion however, created distortions and “dis-relations,” which it had tasked itself to resolve. Taiye Tuakli-Wosornu in her essay published in The Lip, refers to this group of artists as “Afropolitans.” It is quite coincidental that some of the artists in this present show were part of the Distant Relatives/Relative Distance exhibition in Cape Town and Johannesburg last year. This includes the curator, Odili Donald Odita.

Installation view (culled from gallery website)

Odili Donald Odita proposes the present show as an attempt at investigating the relationship between the exhibiting artists and their “aesthetic inquiry with Africa and its Diaspora.” He further explains that the exhibition considers the intricate circumstances of African identity within a global context. This, more or less to me, is exemplified by the new buzz word coined by Taiye Tuakli-Wosornu. I tried to point out this connection between the In The Colour Line and Distant Relatives/Relative Distance

Olu Oguibe, Game, 2007
Present at the opening were curators, critics, artists and art writers. Among them were Koan-Jeff Baysa (physician/curator/critic) whose most recent curatorial project is d’Asie d’Afrique, who I had met the previous day at Art Omi when he was on Studio visit. There was also Gabbi Ngcobo, the curator of Transcape Biennale in South Africa, and numerous others.

Artists in the exhibition
were Tiong Ang,Radcliffe Bailey,Christiaan Bastiaans, Bili Bidjocka,Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons, Nick Cave, J'un Ulrick Desert, Kira Lynn Harris,Fred Holland, Rashid Johnson, Remy Jungerman, Kerry James Marshall, Nzingah Muhammad, Senga Nengudi, Mario Cravo Neto, Olu Oguibe, Senam Okudzeto, Orgacom, Carl Pope, Miguel Angel Rios, Stephen Hobbs & Marcus Neustetter / The Trinity Session, Stanley Whitney

smooth and olu, smooth, gabi and simone

Photography Residency in UK

Africa Beyond call - Africa > UK

Three residencies in the UK for artists based in Africa.
Africa Beyond aims to keep African culture in a central position within the modern UK landscape, through its website and other media, lively public events, and now through a series of residencies in London in January 2008.

Gasworks International Residency Programme will play host to three visiting artists for three months from Africa who will be supported in developing a project with InIVA, Photographers' Gallery, or the Southbank Centre.

About the residency
This three-month residency comprises:
- accommodation and living expenses in London
- a private studio at Gasworks
- a materials budget
- a project associated with InIVA, Photographers' Gallery, or Southbank Centre
- an Open Studio and artist's talk at Gasworks

This residency focuses on professional development, artistic exchange and the development of artistic process. The support, networks and creative environments that Gasworks, Africa Beyond, and the partner institutions can offer will provide the artist with the means to research and experiment with new work, taking an important step in an international context.
Each of the three residencies will be attached to a different partner institution and will have a specific aim and focus. Read more about each institution via the links.

Southbank Centre

The residency will focus on the display of new and existing work, showcase his/her practice on a major public platform within a solo or group presentation.
Photographers' Gallery
This residency will focus on an artist's contribution to the community and the role of education in artistic practice. This residency will be open only to artists working in photography or related media.
This residency will offer the opportunity to develop and contribute within a leading space for research and discussion of contemporary art.

All artists will be provided with a studio and support at Gasworks.
Established contemporary visual artists from Africa, who have not spent extensive time working in Europe, are invited to apply for this programme (see below for full eligibility guidelines).
The residency is scheduled to take place during April-June 2008.

Overview of Gasworks International Residency Programme
IMPORTANT - Please read this before applying.
Selection and eligibility
Applying artists should:

- Be early- to mid- career contemporary visual artists involved in high quality artistic practice
- Not have worked extensively in Europe before
- Be flexible and prepared to experiment in his/her practice
- Display willingness to engage with new audiences and a new cultural context
- Be willing and interested in working towards the objectives of the host venue s/he is applying to become involved with during the residency (InIVA, Photographers' Gallery, or Southbank Centre).

The residency is open to contemporary artists working in all disciplines, however one must note the restricted facilities. Artists working in heavy duty media may not have access to their usual facilities.
We are seeking artists whose practice, interests and approaches show that they are in a position to benefit from, and to make a critical contribution to this residency and the networks around it.
Applying artists may wish to follow a specific research interest, but should be prepared to be flexible. A project proposal is not necessary to apply.