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Posts Tagged ‘Kai Lossgott’

Curated by Kisito Assangni

29 April 2012
7-10pm

ARENA 1 GALLERY
3026 Airport Avenue
Santa Monica – Los Angeles
CA 90405 USA

In collaboration with Manipulated Image

Including
Jude Anogwih | Younes Baba-Ali | Saidou Dicko | Ndoye Douts | Kokou Ekouagou | Mohamed El Baz | Samba Fall | Nicene Kossentini | Kai Lossgott | Michele Magema | Nathalie Mba Bikoro | Johan Thom | Saliou Traoré | Guy Woueté | Ezra Wube


Project [SFIP] is a multi-national exhibition process and a platform for critical thinking, researching and presenting African video art.

The technocultural revolution has democratised cultural and artistic practice through everyday access to new media.  At the same time, the pervasive presence of technology in our lives has raised questions around privacy, surveillance and ownership, the dominance of Western media in globalisation, as well as the privilege of access in the developed world.  The [SFIP] network is dedicated to the diffusion of new experiences worldwide through film and video.  It is unfortunate that contemporary African art remains largely associated with sculpture and painting.  Much work remains to be done in adequately researching the creative energy of the continent, especially within the last decade.

This exhibition presents a selection of African video art that stands beyond the clichés that remain associated with the dark continent and the postcolonial image. It seeks to bring viewers closer to idiosyncratic readings of African video art and its thematic concerns which are largely ignored. ‘Still Fighting Ignorance & Intellectual Perfidy’ contextualises African video art within a larger cultural framework.

Reflecting an age of inter-cultural migration, [SFIP] presents African video artists who live in Africa, Europe and USA whilst providing a meeting point for knowledge and interest in the relationship between self and society.  Most works address issues of alterity, identity, tolerance and social relationships as artists reflexively consider their sense of place and belonging in an increasingly interconnected world.

From experimental video to short film, this show focuses on aesthetic and methodological perspectives of fighting ignorance and intellectual perfidy in contemporary African art.  The project tells Africa’s story by African new media artists as seen through the lens of the relation between tradition and modernity.

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Still from Vox Populi/ Vox Dei (Credit: Hans Wilshcut)

Photographic still  from ‘Vox Populis Vox Dei’

PRESS RELEASE: ‘DYSTOPIA’

Dates & venues:

May 23 – June 30, 2009: Unisa Art Gallery, Pretoria
October 8 – November 15, 2009: Museum Africa, Johannesburg
June 10 – August 8, 2010: Oliewenhuis Art Museum, Mangaung
October 17 – November 21, 2010: Jan Colle Galerij, Ghent

Curator: Elfriede Dreyer
Associate professor, Department of Visual Arts
University of Pretoria
Contact: +27 832712342 (mobile)
elfriede.dreyer@up.ac.za

Assistant curator: Jacob Lebeko
Assistant-curator, Unisa art gallery
University of South Africa
Contact: +27 12 4296255
lebekj@unisa.ac.za

Participating artists: Adelle van Zyl; Brett Murray; Celia de Villiers; Christiaan Diedericks; Christiaan Hattingh; Churchill Madikida; Collen Maswanganyi; Dale Yudelman; Daniel Halter; Diane Victor; Dineo Bopape; Elfriede Dreyer; Frikkie Eksteen; Guy du Toit & Iaan Bekker; Gwenneth Miller; Jenna Burchell; Jan van der Merwe; Johan Thom; Kai Lossgott; Karlien de Villiers; Kudzanai Chiurai; Lawrence Lemaoana; Minnette Vári; Moshekwa Langa; Nicholas Hlobo; Pieter Swanepoel; Steven Cohen; Thando Mama; William Kentridge, Claire Gavronsky & Rose Shakinovsky; Zanele Muholi

Art often serves an observational, analytical and interpretational purpose. Both art’s mimetic function and its imaginative aspect provide powerful means by which any society can introspect, investigate and visualise itself as a capsule of the socio-cultural and political status quo.
Within the geographical boundaries of Southern Africa, Dystopia explores the relationship of contemporary art production to society and ideology, and aims to unmask articulations of dystopia within this cultural framework. A main curatorial intention with the exhibition is to express the view that the dystopian artworks included in this exhibition and the cultural criticism articulated therein seem to have responded to an air of crisis that has been pervading contemporary thinking for several decades now.
In principle, dystopian texts express world views that postulate end-of-utopia, utopia-gone-wrong and even anti-utopia, and entail responses to and a critique of utopia. In the dystopian genre the imagination is tweaked as a critical instrument set on deconstructing existing or potential ills, injustices and hypocrisies in society, mainly brought on by utopian ideologies and legacies. In dystopian texts — whether real or fictive; visual or literary — stories are told about, for instance, societies and places where the impact of the ideological blueprint of globalisation has created diasporic cultures and nomad identities; about unjust utopian political ideas that create social restriction, impaired mobility, repression or oppression; or about postutopian space and loss of religious belief and direction. It might recount posthuman conditions as a result of the dominating influence of the technological utopianism, evident in dysfunctional cyberrelationships and telematic influences leading to rampant violence, threat to self, insensitivity and indifference to critical socio-cultural problems.
Broadly speaking, Dystopia deals with the following themes: political utopia-gone-wrong; teleology and apocalypse; dystopian contestations of gender, race and culture; spatiality and boundaries as postideological zones; the postindustrial city; and technodystopia. The artworks that have been selected for the exhibition function as palimpsests where dystopian maps have been superimposed over utopia, but also as utopian constructions where dystopian realities have been absorbed, negated and transcended in order to generate a new utopian synthesis.
A significant metatext in the conceptual architecture of the exhibition is the role and use of various kinds of technologies from low-tech to high-tech digital tools in the production of the artworks. The objective here is to come closer to an understanding of the way in which culture produces itself and attributes meaning to that self-production. The appropriated technologies reflect social processes, histories and conditions in South Africa and as such provide a kind of technological “barometer” for, for instance, rural village settings, inner city diasporic communities and consumer environments.
The exhibition consists of a combination of recently and newly produced work of South African artists, both emerging and internationally acclaimed, as well as selected artworks from the University of South Africa’s art collection.
A comprehensive catalogue and an educational programme accompany the exhibition. There will be walkabouts on Friday, May 29, and Friday, June 19, at 13h00. A panel discussion will take place in the Unisa Art Gallery on Saturday, May 30, from 10h00 to 13h00.
Dystopia is primarily funded by the National Research Foundation of South Africa under the Key International Science Capacity (KISC) Initiative, as well as by Unisa.

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