lunedì 28 luglio 2008



Born c. 1945, Bignona, Senegal
Lives and works in Bignona, Senegal

Seni Awa Camara’s outlook on life is based on revealed truths, on timeless stories, on the world of human beings and the objects that surround them, and on her status as a Ouolof woman with an obligation to unite past and present. She was raised by her mother, who was also a potter, and who taught her sculpture when she was still a child. She had two twin brothers, and all three retreated into the forests of Casamançe to obey a mysterious and divine initiation. “We were sheltered by God’s spirits, who taught us to work with clay.” Camara models clay and gives shape to stories, events, and feelings that have been dreamt, revealed, or created from fantasy. She has gathered a substantial number of her sculptures in her home which could be described as a “theater without a stage,” full of objects and human figures placed according to size—ranging from examples less than twelve inches high to those which tower at eight feet. For Camara, her figures represent the world as she sees it, with people that are, good, bad, beautiful, or ugly. All these creatures are modeled in the yard in front of her house, and fired in an open-hearth kiln.

She explains the distorted faces of her creations as a response to our indifference to our ancestors. Or when forty small monsters are clinging to a pregnant mother, it’s because we’re all fleeing from something! Before unveiling her “secrets,” she locks herself in with her talisman (an ox-horn) and everything becomes possible. Regarding art, she answers: “I am thinking, I have an idea, I am working.”

Why Africa
Pinacoteca Giovanni e Marella Agnelli
Torino - Italy

100% Africa
(October 12 2006 to February 18 2007)
The Guggenheim Bilbao

Arts of Africa
Grimaldi Forum
Monaco - France

African Art Now : Masterpieces from the Jean Pigozzi Collection
Museum of Fine Art Houston
Houston - USA

Venice Biennale
49th International Art Exhibition
Venise - Italy.

Africa Hoy
Contemporary Art Cultural Center, Mexico.
Groninger Museum, Netherland.
The Atlantic Center of Modern Art, Las Palmas de Gran Canary, Spain.

Galerie des Institutd Für Auslandsbeziehungen.
Landesmuseum, Oldenburger Kunstverein.

Magiciens de la Terre
Georges Pompidou Center.
La Grande Halles de la Villette.
Paris, France.

domenica 27 luglio 2008


Contemporary paintings, sculptures, design and handcraft from Africa.
Nerart represents in the South Switzerland area the only exhibition venue specially dedicated to contemporary African arts, crafts and design. 
At Nerart, in fact, it is not only possible to get to know and buy the works of some of the most important artists of the continent, whose stature has been internationally demonstrated by important exhibitions in the world's main museums (Centre George Pompidou in Paris, Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Hayward Gallery in London, etc…), but also to get in touch with the most refined and selected range of design and crafts of the continent.

NERART ASCONA - Gallerie della Carrà


Tel. +41 79 210 76 59

lunedì 21 luglio 2008

Dude, where's my Avant Car Guard?

by Ed Young

These guys are funny.

Upon first contact with the collective in question, they were in a slow process of being evicted from Dirt Contemporary, half an hour prior to their first Cape Town show's opening. This is not to suggest that these boys are necessarily young reprobates, it might have had something more to do with the fact that curator Rory Palmer had not paid the rent for a couple of months and trashed the space a little bit during the previous exhibition. I lent a hand.

Palmer ended up in prison.

But this particular incident did not really buffer the car guards. They proceeded to produce a really kick-ass publication called Volume I (I am still waiting for my complimentary copy). In their attempt to launch it at Bell-Roberts Gallery, in a sort of rock star type signing session, the fans did not arrive. It was called: Skakel Oor na die Donkerkant.

But, this was not enough to get the collective down. Despite the lack of interest and the disgust, they pushed on and developed the Africa Biennale 2008, after 'having secured both operational support and project funding from the World Art and Corporate Entities', comfortably accepting Africa's fate as a country. They are currently calling for submissions.

Other projects include Volume II, which was launched at The Pure Project, in New York City, as well as contributions to One Million and Forty-Four Years (and sixty three days), a book by Kathryn Smith on the ever-lonely avant-garde. They also launched Volume I at David Krut Projects recently.

Avant Car Guard is Zander Blom, Jan-Henri Booyens and Michael MacGarry, and although it is a extremely self-referential and a bit of a circular navel-gaze, this project is a refreshing undertaking in contrast with the stodginess that characterises much contemporary South African art. They are currently in residence in the ArtHeat ProjectSpace.

sabato 19 luglio 2008


«Damned if they leave and damned if they stay: better, at least, to have gone, and be doomed in the boat of their dreams»

For documenta 12, Hazoumé has installed a new art work: Dream (2007), a boat which is made of black oil cans is just in front of a picture showing an idyllic beach. But the people are forced to leave their homeland. They flee to where everything is supposedly better. But Hazoumé wishes to stay. The oil cans represent the passengers who travel in such boats. Even individual signatures are legible. Here Hazoumé stakes a claim to universal validity, no matter how corrupt African countries may be.
Currently showing at documenta 12 in Kassel, Germany, Romuald Hazoumé is one of Africa's leading visual artists. He has worked with many media throughout his career, from discarded petrol canisters, oil paint and canvas, to large-scale installation, video and photography.

Romuald Hazoumé was born in 1962 in Porto Novo, Republic of Benin, and now lives in Cotonou and works in Porto Novo. His work has won widespread critical acclaim, and he has recently exhibited his major installation "La Bouche du Roi, a re-creation of a slave ship made from petrol canisters, in solo shows at the British Museum, London, the Menil Collection, Houston, the Musée Quai Branly, Paris, and participated in the exhibitions "100% Afrique" at the Guggenheim Bilbao and in "Uncomfortable Truths", an exhibitions which addresses the ways in which the legacy of slavery informs contemporary art and design, at the Victoria & Albert Museum, London

©Photo: Haupt&Binder

venerdì 18 luglio 2008


Manufacture (La)
2 rue des écoles, 84000 Avignon, France
tel. 04 90 86 30 78 - 04 90 85 12 71

Le roman de Didier Daeninckx porté à la scène.
1931, se tient à Paris la dernière Exposition Coloniale. Le zoo de Vincennes est alors inauguré. Au jardin d'acclimatation, un groupe de Kanak, censé montrer la culture de Nouvelle Calédonie, est parqué dans un enclos entre les lions et les crocodiles. Munis de la pancarte "Cannibales authentiques", ils représentent le sauvage.
2008, où en sommes-nous, nous les civilisés ?
Avec le rythme d'un polar, Didier Daeninckx nous entraîne dans la Mémoire et sur les pas de Gocéné...

Compagnie Le Porte Plume
Conception et interprétation : Sylvie Malissard
Complicité artistique : Laurence Campet
Création lumière et son : Emmanuel Faivre
Régie générale : Jean-Claude Champanay

Compagnie Le Porte Plume. Coproduction Théâtre de l'Espace, scène nationale de Besançon. Avec l'aide de la DRAC Franche-Comté, du Conseil Régional de Franche-Comté et du Conseil Général du Jura. Avec le soutien de la LDH et de la FOL 39 réseau Côté Cour.

giovedì 17 luglio 2008


William Kentridge
Né en 1955 à Johhanesburg, Afrique du Sud 
Vit et travaille à Johannesburg 

Figure tutélaire de la scène artistique sud-africaine, jouissant d'une reconnaissance internationale. Ses dessins charbonneux l'ont rendu célèbre, il les décline en film d'animation ou en collaboration avec le théâtre. Artiste multimédia, il chronique de manière abstraite la violence d'un pays en mutation. 

William Kentridge a suivi des études de sciences politiques avant de se tourner vers l'art. Il a appris la gravure, le mime et le théâtre, mais c'est surtout avec ses films d'animation qu'il a acquis une renommée internationale. Son travail combine le savoir-faire d'un artiste qui est aussi acteur, metteur en scène, scénographe et réalisateur. Toutefois Kentridge se définit avant tout comme dessinateur. 
Les possibilités du dessin, il les a découvertes en observant le travail de Feni Dumile (né vers 1939 - 1991), qu'il rencontre alors qu'il est adolescent dans les ateliers de Bill Ainslie. 
Kentridge a élaboré une technique bien particulière. Il dessine toutes les scènes, les filme, puis les efface et répète ce processus jusqu'à l'issue du récit. Chaque dessin porte la trace de ce qui a été, donnant à l'image une qualité brute qui n'est pas sans lien avec l'histoire sud-africaine. C'est le cas de Ubu Tells the Truth (1997), avec son enchaînement d'images brusques et saccadées sur une bande sonore vive et dramatique. Kentridge côtoie le personnage d'Alfred Jarry dès 1975 au théâtre. Il le reprend en 1996 avec Deborah Bell et Robert Hodgins, puis avec la Handspring Puppet Company en 1997, au moment où s'ouvre la commission "Vérité et Réconciliation". 
Comme dans beaucoup de ses travaux, cette vidéo porte un message politique mais sa position n'est pas définie. Le drame sud-africain, la brutalité et le chaos sont mis en scène dela même manière que l'exercice de réconciliation a mêlé aveux, pardons et rancunes. 

Source : Africa Remix - Ed. Centre Georges Pompidou & TV5

mercoledì 16 luglio 2008


Pierre Bergé & associés
Grand Sablon 40
B-1000 Bruxelles
T.+ 32 (0)2 504 80 30
F.+ 32 (0) 513 21 65

Philippe Lichtfus (créateur de l’événement - et Ivana Morozoff ( ont uni leur esprit d’entreprise pour nous présenter cet été la seconde édition du Salon d’art contemporain africain dans le prestigieux espace de Pierre Bergé & associés au Sablon. 

Au rendez-vous, 40 artistes internationaux sélectionnés par deux experts – commissaires dans ce domaine : Olivier Sultan - directeur du musée des Arts Derniers, Galerie d’art contemporain africain à Paris et commissaire d’expositions. 
Sandra Delvaux Agbessi - commissaire indépendante et directrice de Fine Art Studio, également co-commissaire dans le cadre de l’exposition Black Paris Black Bruxelles présentée au Musée d’Ixelles en mars - avril 2008. 

Au cours de ces dernières années, l’art contemporain africain a pris son essor et ses marques sur la scène internationale. Reconnu par les professionnels et les initiés (Biennale de Venise, Guggenheim Museum (NY), Hayward Gallery, Fondation Cartier, Mori Art Museum, prix photographie Hasselblad, ...), il reste une découverte pour les collectionneurs et amateurs d’art contemporain. 

Pour ce salon, les artistes sélectionnés jouissent d’une identité culturelle riche et variée. Principalement issus du continent Africain, ils sont dispersés à travers le monde. Ils vivent et travaillent en Afrique (Dakar, Harare, Cotonou, Johannesburg, ...), en Europe (Paris, Bruxelles, Berne, ...) et aux Etats-Unis. 
Le regard observateur de leur Histoire, métissée à la culture occidentale, cette double culture, nous ouvre de nouvelles portes sur l’art contemporain, stimule notre réflexion sur le monde contemporain et la représentation qu’on s’en fait. 

L’investigation historique entreprise par ces artistes, se traduit en diverses touches personnelles. Ils nous sensibiliseront par leur humour ou leur ironie, par leur originalité ou par la simplicité poétique des formes et des matières, par leur révolte contre les agressions faites à l’environnement... 
Pour commencer ces vacances d’été, ce salon d’art contemporain animera l’espace de Pierre Bergé & associés au Sablon dans un esprit chaleureux et rythmé tellement propre à la culture africaine.

martedì 15 luglio 2008


Barthélémy Toguo was born in 1967 in Cameroon. In 1993 after studying at the School of Art, Abidjan, Ivory Coast he moved to Europe and began exhibiting and performing while finishing his studies at the Higher School of Art, Grenoble (France) and Kunstakademie of Dusseldorf (Germany). He currently lives and works between New York, Bandjoun (Cameroon) and Paris. Toguo has founded the Bandjoun Station Art Centre, Banjdoun to allow international artists from all disciplines to develop their work in collaboration with local communities.

domenica 13 luglio 2008


Robin Rhode
By Kathryn Smith

Modus operandi:

For this self proclaimed "working-class bushie artist", the first two years of art school were living hell - until he read an article in Frieze magazine featuring the work of Kendell Geers, Stephen Hobbs and Wayne Barker. Feeling a true kinship with Geers' aesthetic terrorism, and recognising the work to be part of his life experience to a point where he felt he 'owned' the work mentioned in the piece, it became Rhode's desire to be Shakespeare's "pregnant enemy". Rhode believes art has a definite practical function and educational potential, which is partly the reason why he gives his art what he calls "real life form". He aspires to be entertaining and for his audience to be judgmental. Self-deprecating and very self-aware, Rhode has invented a word and life philosophy that he believes should be consciously applied at least once a day: (MORE...)

venerdì 11 luglio 2008

AVANT CAR GUARD Limited Edition Album Launch

The First rule of AVANT CAR GUARD is: you do not talk about AVANT CAR GUARD.

Although it is not common knowledge, there are actually three sides to the Force: the good side, the dark side, and AVANT CAR GUARD.

AVANT CAR GUARD is Luke Skywalker's real father.

AVANT CAR GUARD eats transformer toys in vehicle mode and poos them out transformed into a robot.

AVANT CAR GUARD sleeps with a pillow under their gun.

AVANT CAR GUARD has never blinked in their entire life. Never.

When AVANT CAR GUARD crosses the street, the cars have to look both ways.

AVANT CAR GUARD's tears cure cancer. Too bad they’ve never cried.

AVANT CAR GUARD drinks napalm to quell their heartburn.

If you want a list of AVANT CAR GUARD's enemies, just check the extinct species list.

There is no theory of evolution; just a list of creatures AVANT CAR GUARD allows to live.

The Bible was originally titled "AVANT CAR GUARD and Friends"

AVANT CAR GUARD can judge a book by its cover.

AVANT CAR GUARD doesn't read books. They stare them down until they get the information they want.

AVANT CAR GUARD doesn't actually write books, the words assemble themselves out of fear.

AVANT CAR GUARD does not use spell check. If they happens to misspell a word, Oxford will simply change the actual spelling of it.

AVANT CAR GUARD owns the greatest poker face of all-time. It helped them win the 1983 world series of poker despite them holding just a joker, a 2 of clubs, a 7 of spades, and a green number 4 from Uno and a monopoly 'get out of jail free' card.

When AVANT CAR GUARD was denied a Bacon McMuffin at McDonalds because it was 10:35, they roundhouse kicked the store so hard it became a KFC.

AVANT CAR GUARD is not hung like a horse... horses are hung like AVANT CAR GUARD.

AVANT CAR GUARD uses ribbed condoms inside out, so they gets the pleasure.

AVANT CAR GUARD only masturbates to pictures of AVANT CAR GUARD.

AVANT CAR GUARD lost their virginity before their Dad did.

AVANT CAR GUARD doesn't say, "who's your daddy", because they knows the answer.

AVANT CAR GUARD can divide by zero.

On the 7th day, God rested.... and AVANT CAR GUARD took over.

mercoledì 9 luglio 2008

Why Thabo Mbeki is soft on Mugabe’s junta ?

Why is Thabo Mbeki so soft on Mugabe? Is it simply loyalty to a past of “joint struggle”, as has been suggested? Here is a clue.

In September 2005, a study submitted to Parliament in Cape Town compared the treatment of landless black farmers under apartheid and their treatment today.

During the final decade of apartheid, 737 000 people were evicted from white-owned farmland. In the first decade of democracy, 942 000 were evicted. About half of those forcibly removed were children and about a third were women.

A law intended to protect these people and put an end to peonage, the Security of Tenure Act was enacted by the Mandela government in 1997. That year, Nelson Mandela told me: “We have done something revolutionary, for which we have received no credit at all. (MORE....)

domenica 6 luglio 2008


by Sue Williamson (December, 2007)

'Art is a lie that makes us realise truth', said Picasso, and perhaps this has never been as true as when applied to the work of the internationally famous painter, Marlene Dumas. Taking as her source material photographs from an eclectic range of media, from family snapshots to news journals and porno magazines, Dumas paints her way into the very essence of the image, using it to work out an idea which the artist has conceived. The painting that emerges almost invariably engages the viewer at a deeply visceral and emotional level, with a power that far transcends the photographic original. The spotlight of her gaze upon her subject is clear and merciless, yet tender and ambiguous.

Her 1991 series, First People, portrays four dyspeptic babies, each almost two metres high. Originally photographed from above as they lay on their backs, now painted vertically, the babies, with their cross faces, distended bellies, flailing arms and scrawny little legs radiate a furious energy. The artist has jammed them into the picture frame like dolls in boxes which are slightly too small, thus increasing, as she often does, the level of discomfort.

Another case in point: Dumas' monochromatic watercolour portraits. I do not believe there is another artist, living or dead, who has been able to master to the same instinctive level the art of the diluted black ink wash on paper, painting wet on wet, the features of the portrait sometimes barely suggested with a swift black flick or swirl, yet devastatingly accurate, instantly recognisable as a particular human being. In her studio, Dumas lines sheets of paper up on the floor, working from one to the next. Often, these portraits will be shown as large scale grids of images, such as The Next Generation, a series of 66 images donated to Iziko, the South African National Gallery.

Cape Town born, studying at the Michaelis School of Fine Art, Dumas left for the Netherlands after graduation to study further at the Ateliers 63 in Haarlem. She has been living in Holland ever since, though her links to her homeland remain strong, and her support of local artists and art institutions like the SANG and the Constitutional Court art collection have been steadfast.

venerdì 4 luglio 2008


Lara Koseff

Avant Car Guard appears to be proclaiming its position as the pirate of the Jo’burg art scene. Zander Blom, Jan-Henri Booyens & Michael MacGarry form the trio that staged an event at David Krut Projects this weekend. Instead of pirating goods, however, the trio are more interested in stealing the viewer’s attention in order to challenge perceptions about what it means to be an artist in South Africa.
The event was advertised as the launch of Avant Car Guard’s new album, which is a publication of photographs of their previous staged antics. The trio was present to sign the publication. The scenario, however, was quite dissimilar to any other book signing in that the artists were emerging from three holes in a makeshift pirate shipwreck. The ship was plastered with Avant Car Guard signage, a home-made skull and crossbones flag rising out of it and a chaotic pile of publications spread out in front of it. Although this and the smoke machine made the atmosphere quite melodramatic there was nothing theatrical about the artists’ demeanour. They were drinking beer, smoking and making polite conversation with those curious and even brave enough to approach them.
Avant Car Guard is not only pushing the boundaries of conceptual art in South Africa, but also demystifying the notion of the renowned and established South African artist. They achieve this by enacting satirical scenarios of their own derisive and uncertain fame and ultimately baffling others into believing it and eventually questioning it.
The newly opened David Krut Projects was the perfect venue for such an event. People poured out onto the pavement and engaged in animated discussion and debate. The space, tucked in between a sex shop and a now-defunct curry den, looks out onto Jan Smuts Avenue, on a block that is fast becoming the new Jo’burg gallery strip.. This is the perfect setting to be exposed to the contemporary Jo’burg art scene and to simultaneously question and debunk it.

mercoledì 2 luglio 2008

Lester Bangs and The Last Of The White Niggers

Lester Bangs:
Notorious for applying the term "white nigger" (which originated in Norman Mailer's 1957 essay "The White Negro") as a euphemism for a punk, or more specifically a white social miscreant with questionable or objectionable outward idiosyncrasies, and radical beliefs deemed unacceptable by the status quo. (Conversely, the term now has a different connotation, as "wigger" is used to describe a white individual infatuated with the hip-hop lifestyle). He often referred to himself as the "last of the white niggers", and a famous photograph of Bangs shows him wearing a t-shirt bearing this title.

©Robert Sloon