Friday, 13 February 2009

Art-iculate 2009 begins with Monna Mokoena, director Gallery MOMO, Johannesburg


Art-iculate 2009

In 2000 under the auspices of the now defunct IVAC the first programme of lectures featuring guest speakers Eddie Chambers and Katy Deepwell, (UK) Colin Richards, South Africa, Yacouba Konate, Ivory Coast and William Miko, Zambia made presentations not only to to a Lagos art audience but also to students at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria and to art professionals in Enugu in collaboration with the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. The positive response received nationwide highlighted the vacuum in the area of contemporary art discourse and the cultural isolation experienced by local artists. Today artists have the opportunity through access to information and communication technology to connect, interact and dialogue with people globally.

Within this context the Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos is pleased to present a new series of lectures that aims to increase dialogue, encourage debate and stimulate exchange in visual arts and culture in Nigeria by inviting international curators, critics, and art historians to share their knowledge, skills and experience. In prioritising dialogue and discourse in our programmes, we hope to encourage the development of critical perspectives that help us to learn about and understand not only our society but also about world in general.

The first art-iculate series were held in November and December 2008 featuring presentations by Didier Schaub, Artistic Director of Doual’Art, a contemporary art space in Douala. His lecture Contemporary Art in Public Places was a fascinating insight into the way in which contemporary artistic practice can have a meaningful impact on the society from which it is so dissociated. On December 8th CCA, Lagos’ 12 month anniversary, Prof. Yacouba Konate returned to Lagos to give a keynote lecture titled, The Foreigner Has Big Eyes but Sees Nothing. His lecture highlighted the problem of international curating especially within the African context and proffered possible solutions.

Over the next 3 months CCA, Lagos will invite curators, art historian, writers and cultural producers who will provide an insight into the visual art sector of countries as diverse as, South Africa, Brazil, China and India, as well as explore the work of individuals and organisations across a broad spectrum of curatorial and critical perspectives and artistic practices.

As in 2000, the current series of international lectures Art-iculate has been made possible with the support of the Prince Claus Fund.


Monna Mokoena (South Africa)
Monna Mokoena is a highly respected and innovative curator, well known on the South African arts landscape. He also established Gallery MOMO in Johannesburg, South Africa, in 2003. MOMO not only exhibits but also represents leading contemporary South African and international artists. Mokoena’s focus is on contemporary work that stretches boundaries, nurturing a global platform for our continent's extraordinary creative impetus.

As an independent curator Mokoena also undertakes commissioned projects. Corporate clients, architects, designers, government departments and many artists have worked with him to develop art strategies and processes that align with organisational objectives. He enjoys collaborating and bringing substantial knowledge of the arts in South Africa and worldwide to the table. On an ongoing basis, he is involved in the management of various art collections as well as sitting on various boards in an advisory capacity.

The founding of Gallery MOMO – “From shack to chic”
There is no arguing that the commercial gallery sector in Africa remains negligible, with little or no visibility within the globally art marketplace. In South Africa there are a growing number of private galleries, small and large operating on professional international standards.

From shack to chic will talk about the South African gallery sector focusing on the birth and growth of MOMO Gallery. It will present its portfolio of artists, its exhibitions and projects. It will also talk about the way in which it is building a slow and steady national and international visibility not only for the gallery but also its artists.


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