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Modern African Art : A Basic Reading List


Major Group Exhibitions : 2000s

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Africa now!: emerging talents from a continent on the move. Washington, DC: World Bank Art Program, 2008. 167pp. illus. (color). Text in English and French. NX587.A47 2009 AFA. OCLC 318187563.

One of the smallest entities within the World Bank behemoth is the jewel of the World Bank Art Program headed by curator Marina Galvani. In 2008 she turned the spotlight on contemporary African art with an exhibition, symposium, and this catalog. First, it should be noted that the World Bank has a permanent art collection, and in preparation for Africa Now!, Galvani visited several African countries, meeting artists, and acquiring new works to add depth to the existing collection.

Several things set Africa Now! apart from run-of-the-mill contemporary African art projects. It focuses squarely on the continent and artists living and working there rather than the "trendy" artists who are recycled through art galleries and museums in the West. The result? Many new names, new art, new visibility. Secondly, with a nod to the World Bank, it emphasizes the importance of the cultural sector and the visual arts sub-sector (to borrow World Bank parlance) to the development of African countries. Thirdly, it broadens the scope to embrace photography, cinema, fashion and design as part of the visual arts sector. "Let creativity speak."

The Africa Now! project was co-sponsored by the World Bank Arts Program and the Vice Presidency for the Africa Region, Washington, DC, December 2008-April 2009.

Africa remix: contemporary art of a continent / edited by Simon Njami. Johannesburg, South Africa: Jacana Media, 2007. 260pp. illus. (chiefly color), map, bibl. refs. N7380.5.A4213 2007 AFA. OCLC 161810077.

Africa remix 2007 is the Johannesburg edition of Simon Njami's curatorial project which opened in 2004 and traveled in Europe. That it was shown in Africa is a significant accomplishment. Credit is due to Clive Kellner, then the director of the Johannesburg Art Gallery.

Introductory essays include: Chaos and metamorphosis / by Simon Njami -- Notes from down south : towards defining contemporary African practice / by Clive Kellner -- Afropolitanism / by Achille Mbembe -- Africa, exhibitions and fears of the dark / by David Elliott -- The reception of African art / by Jean-Hubert Martin -- Africa begins in the north / dialogue between Marie-Laure Bernadac and Abdelwahab Meddeb -- Made in Africa / by John Picton -- Ah-freak-iya : challenging perceptions of Africa's contemporary sounds / by Lucy Durán -- Colour plates : introductions / by Simon Njami -- Africa remix sampler.

Reviewed by Anitra Nettleton in De arte (Pretoria) 77, 2008, pages 78-81; by Gerhard Schoeman in Art South Africa (Cape Town) 6 (3) autumn 2008, page 103; in Art talk (Sandton, South Africa) 8 (1) 2007, pages 6-7; by Adam Levin, "Coming to Africa," Sunday times (Lifestyle section) (Johannesburg) June 17, 2007, page 8; by Issa Sikiti da Silva, "African remix comes home," Rootz Africa: jazz and culture (Roggebaai, South Africa) 26, 2007, pages 72-76; by David Brodie in Art South Africa (Cape Town) 6 (1) spring 2007, pages 84-85; by Rory Bester in Art South Africa (Cape Town) 6 (1) spring 2007, page 86; by Steven Nelson, "Africa Remix remix," African arts (Los Angeles) 41 (3) autumn 2008, pages 1, 4-8.

Africa remix: contemporary art of a continent / edited by Simon Njami. Ostfildern: Hatje Cantz, 2005. 224pp. illus. (chiefly color), bibliog. (pp. 215-216). N7380.5.A4213 2005 AFA. OCLC 58421393.

This major traveling exhibition of contemporary African art opened in Düsseldorf, Germany, then traveled to London, Paris, Tokyo and Johannesburg. This English catalog is an abridged version of the German edition. Huge by any measure, Africa remix featured 88 artists whose works are arranged into three groupings: identity & history, body & soul, and city & land. Chief curator Simon Njami, working with curators at the five venues, conceived of the exhibition “as an anthology or compilation, serving to introduce a selection of significant artists to a wide public largely unfamiliar with them” (page 11). Njami’s selection of artists tends to focus on the “urban and sophisticated,” but it also seeks to obliterate boundaries of geography, language and background and be truly eclectic: hence, Africa remix. Installations, mixed media, video art, and photography predominate. Includes essays by Njami, David Elliott, Jean-Hubert Martin, John Picton, Lucy Durán, and an interview with Tunisian author Abdelwahab Meddeb.

Catalog reviewed by Elizabeth Harney in Art journal (New York) 66 (2) summer 2007, pages 120-127.

Exhibition reviewed by Niklas Zimmer in ArtSouthAfrica (Cape Town) 3 (2) summer 2004, pages 58-59; by Simon Njami, "Africa remix: une exposition au coeur des mutations africaines," Rézo Afrique (Paris) no. 5, printemps 2005, pages 3-5; by Marina Sorbello, "Mal d'Afrique," Vernissage (Turin) no. 53, October 2004, pages 6-7; by Morgan Falconer in Burlington magazine (London) 147 (1227) June 2005, pages 422-423; by Allison Moore in Artforum (New York) 44 (4) December 2005, page 288; by Sally O'Reilly in Art monthly (London) no. 286, May 2005, pages 27-28.

Exhibition critiqued by Anthony Downey, "Curating Africa: "Africa remix and the categorial dilemma," Wasafiri (London) no. 46, 2005, pages 47-55; by Paolo Israel, "Irony, ambiguity and the art of recyclying: reflection on contemporary rural African art and "Africa remix," Third text (London) 20 (5) no. 82, September 2006, pages 585-598; by Rory Bester, "Africa remix: an immigrant to be looked at from the other side of reinforced glass," Nka: journal of contemporary African art (Ithaca, NY) nos. 22-23, spring-summer 2008, pages 80-87; by Jean-Loup Amselle, "Africa remix: géopolitique de l’art contemporain africain," Art press (Paris) no. 312, May 2005, pages 22-26; by Cédric Vincent, "African remix: down tempo," Art press (Paris) no. 312, May 2005, pages 27-31; by Demis Pérez Léon, "Africa remix: breaking from exoticism with a visual DJ," Art nexus no. 58, September-November 2005, pages 96-101; by Véronique Bouruet-Aubertot, "Art africain: à quand la fin du ghetto," Beaux-arts magazine (Paris) no. 252, juin 2005, pages 92-98; by Steven C. Dubin, "Continental drift," Art in America 95 (10) November 2007, pages 90-97; by Steven Nelson, "Africa Remix remix," African arts (Los Angeles) 41 (3) autumn 2008, pages 1, 4-8.

Africa remix: contemporary art of a continent / Simon Njami. London: Hayward Gallery, 2005. 224pp. illus. (chiefly color), map, bibliog. (pp. 215-216). N7380.5.S56 2005 HMSG. OCLC 59711123.

Reviewed by Elizabeth Harney in Art journal (New York) 66 (2) summer 2007, pages 120-127; by Steven Nelson, "Africa Remix remix," African arts (Los Angeles) 41 (3) autumn 2008, pages 1, 4-8.

Africa remix: l’art contemporain d’un continent: exposition présentée au centre Pompidou, Galerie 1, du 25 août 2005 / curated by Marie-Laure Bernadac, Simon Njami. Paris: Editions du Centre Pompidou, 2005. 339pp. illus. (color), bibliog. (pp. 329-331). N7830.A344 2005N AFA. OCLC 60740511.

Africa remix came to Paris in 2005 and the Centre Pompidou pulled out all the stops. Essentially the same exhibition that traveled to Germany, England, Japan and South Africa, this catalog, translated into French, adds a few essays. Essays are by curator Simon Njami, Jean-Hubert Martin, David Elliott, Abdelwahab Meddeb, John Picton, Jean-Loup Amselle (new), Clémentine Deliss (new), Lucy Duran, Manthia Diawara (new), Hudita Nura Mustafa, and Bernard Müller (new). Also new is the “Africa remix sampler,” (pages 241-283), highlighting key players – people, organizations, publications, and exhibitions in the field of contemporary African art.

Critiqued by Steven Nelson, "Africa Remix remix," African arts (Los Angeles) 41 (3) autumn 2008, pages 1, 4-8.

Exhibition reviewed by Maureen Murphy in Gradhiva (Paris) n.s. no. 2, 2005, pages 142-146, with responses by curators Simon Njami, Marie-Laure Bernadac and Jean-Hubert Martin.

Africa remix: l'art contemporain d'un continent = Contemporary art of a continent. Paris: Centre Pompidou, 2005. 59pp. illus. (color), portraits. Text in French and English. N7380.5.A42 2005 AFA. OCLC 60740515.

This French catalog of the African remix exhibition was scaled down to 54 artists, eliminated the essays, and kept the captions to a minimum. It is more a souvenir album than a full-blown exhibition catalog. For the more substantial catalogs, see next entry.

African art now: masterpieces from the Jean Pigozzi Collection. London: Merrell; Houston: In association with the Museum of Fine Arts, 2005. 224pp. illus. (chiefly color), bibliog. (pp. 214-216). N7391.65.A37 2005 AFA. OCLC 56963600.

“African Art Now” showcases for American audiences the Jean Pigozzi collection of contemporary African art that has had several outings in Europe since 1991. The list of thirty-three artists is now familiar. Jean Pigozzi and his curator André Magnin explain their philosophy and experience of collecting African art and reveal their friendships with the artists. In his essay Thomas McEvilley tackles head-on the fractious debate about the Pigozzi approach to contemporary African art. McEvilley juxtaposes the varied curatorial approaches as exemplified by Grace Stanislaus in the 1990s (“Contemporary African Artists: Changing Tradition”), Olu Oguibe, Salah Hassan and Okwui Enwezor, in various projects, and André Magnin, representing the Pigozzi Contemporary African Art Collection. It serves to defuse the debate by co-opting the discussion. There are also essays by Alvia J. Wardlaw addressing African American response to contemporary African culture and by Alison de Lima Greene on the installation “Clubs of Bamako.”

Reviewed by Elizabeth Harney in Art journal (New York) 66 (2) summer 2007, pages 120-127.

See also the interview with André Magnin by Giovanni Trento in Africa e Mediterraneo: cultura e società (Bologne) 1 (6) no. 55, agosto 2006, pages 24-20.

Arts of Africa: Jean Pigozzi’s contemporary collection / edited by André Magnin. Milan: Skira; Monaco: Grimaldi Forum Monaco, 2005. 365pp. illus. (color), bibliog. N7391.65.A787 2005 AFA. OCLC 60668657.

Jean Pigozzi and André Magnin are men on a mission: to head a juggernaut of contemporary African art, to promote and sponsor their artists whom they have anointed as the select originals from Africa. Criticized for focusing exclusively on self-taught artists, they counter that they seek artists who “clash with the sense of priority that goes hand in hand with the politically correct.” And they deplore those critics who wallow in “a new type of international academicism” (page 38). Overall, the collection showcased in this exhibition catalog is edgy, loud, brassy. There is a mixture of sculptures, paintings, and photographs. Thirty artists are featured most of whom are now closely identified with Pigozzi. Surprisingly, there are only two women artists in the group – Esther Mahlangu and Seni Awa Camara. Several works of each artist are reproduced along with photographs of the artists and exhibition histories.

Authentic/ex-centric: conceptualism in contemporary African art / by Salah M. Hassan and Olu Oguibe. Ithaca, NY: Forum for African Arts, Prince Claus Fund Library, 2001. 263pp. illus. (color), bibliog. N7380.5.A88 2001 AFA. OCLC 48146752.

Authentic/ex-centric, the catalog and the exhibition, looks at conceptual art in Africa through the work of seven artists: Willem Boshoff (South Africa), Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons (Cuba-America), Godfried Donkor (Ghana-Britain), Rachid Koraïchi (Algeria-France), Berni Searle (South Africa), Zineb Sedira (French-British-Algeria), and Yinka Shonibare (Nigeria-Britain). Curated for the 49th Venice Biennale 2000 by Salah Hassan and Olu Oguibe, Authentic/ex-centric is a project of globalization in the art of Africa and the African diaspora. The essays in the catalog all address various aspects of globalization and conceptual art in Africa.

Dak’art 2000 (4th : 2000 : Dakar, Senegal). Dak’art 2000: biennale de l’art africain contemporain. Paris: [s.n.], 2000. 131pp. illus. (color). Text in French and English. N5090.D13D35 2000 AFA. OCLC 44813735.

Dak’art 2000 invited seven artists for individual exhibitions: Bili Bidjocka (Cameroon), Christine Chetty (Seychelles), Kay Hassan (South Africa), Marc Laramie (Martinique), Mohamed Ounouh (Algeria), Ana Maris Pacheco (Brazil), and Kofi Setordji (Ghana). Two large group exhibitions, both decidedly weighted to francophone artists, comprised the rest of official Dak’art: 21 in the international one and 18 in the design show.

Dak’art 2002 (5th : 2002 : Dakar, Senegal). Dak’art 2002: 5ème biennale de l’art africain contemporain. Dakar: Secrétariat general de la biennale des arts, 2002. 160pp. illus. (color). Text in French and English. N5090.D13D35 2000 AFA. OCLC 44813735.

By 2002 Dak’art has reached its tenth anniversary, and that milestone was celebrated in an expanded biennial. The centerpiece exhibition featured 44 artists with lots of installation pieces. Fifteen designers (all francophone) in their own exhibition occupied a less prominent position in Dak’art. Nine artists were invited for individual exhibitions, all installations, and tribute was paid to underglass painter Gora Mbengue.

Dak’art 2006 (7th : 2006 : Dakar, Senegal). Dak’Art 2006: 7ème biennale de l’art africain contemporain. Dakar: Secrétariat général de la biennale des arts, 2006. 415pp. illus. (color). Text in French and English. N5090.D13D35 2006 AFA. OCLC 69872301.

The 2006 Dak’art Biennale differed from previous biennales by inviting applications for General Curator. Yacouba Konaté of Côte d’Ivoire was selected along with an international team of co-curators. Dak’art 2006 was also a much larger affair with more than one hundred participating artists, each of whom is profiled in this catalog. The majority of the art works are installations, videos, and mixed media. Essays by a variety of African art critics, curators, and artists comprise the text.

Exhibition reviewed by Florent Souvignet in Art press (Paris) no. 326, septembre 2006, page 76.

Dak’art 2008 (8th : 2008 : Dakar, Senegal). Dak’art 2008: Afrique: miroir? Dakar, Senegal: Secrétariat general de la biennale des arts, 2008. 248pp. illus. (color), portraits. Text in French and English. N5090.D13D35 2008 AFA. OCLC 246928581.

The Dak’art biennale, despite ongoing criticisms, seems to be establishing roots as Africa’s premier pan-African art event. Or as Gérard Senac, the head of the 2008 organizing committee, puts it: “like the Phoenix rising from the ashes” every two years. The theme of the 2008 biennale was “The Mirror,” as in looking reflectively with self-criticism. Several essayists take up this metaphor of the mirror in taking stock of past, present, and future for the biennale in Africa and for contemporary art on the continent in general. In the international exhibition at Dak’art 2008, there were fifty invited artists. Video, installation and design predominate, followed by photography, sculpture, with almost no painting.

Reviewed by Kinsey Katchka in African arts (Los Angeles) 42 (2) summer 2009, pages 84-87; by Christine Eyene, “Dak’art 2008: Africa’s mirror or distorted reflection?” Third text (London) 22 (6) no. 95, November 2008, pages 790-794.

Dak'art 2004 (6th : 2004 : Dakar, Senegal). Dak'Art 2004 : 6ème Biennale de lárt Africain contemporain. Dakar : Secrétariat général de la biennale des arts (Senegal), 2004. 179pp. illus. (color). Text in French and English. N5090.D13D35 2004 AFA. OCLC 76813324

The sixth edition of the pan-African Dakar Biennale in 2004 showcased thirty-three artists and five designers from sixteen countries. The continuing franophone bias is reflected in the final selection of artists, despite efforts to make Dak'art truly pan-African. Video and photography have taken over as the media of choice. In addition to the main international exhibition there were a series of solo shows introducing nineteen more artists from Africa and the diaspora. The curatorial team elaborate on their selections of both artists and works with much discussion of globalization, authenticity, and postmodernism, etc.

Exhibition critiqued by Laurent Védrine, "Dak'Art 2004: une dynamique en marche," Rézo Afrique (Paris) no. 2, printemps-été 2004, pages 3-5.

Entangled: Annäherungen an zeitgenössische Künstler aus Afrika = approaching contemporary African artists / edited by Marjori Jongbloed. Hannover, Germany: VolkswagenStiftung, 2006. 231pp. illus. (pt. color), map + 1 portfolio (10 leaves of plates, color). Text in English and German. N7380.E58 2006 AFA. OCLC 144529153.

As a counterfoil to Afro-pessimism, this exhibition advances new positive images of Africa, reflecting the resilience of the lives of Africans. The “entangled” identities and cross-border migrations of some of the artists featured are central to their art practice. Participating artists are: Kelechi Amadi-Obi, James Beckett, Hala Elkoussy, Mary Evans, Uchechukwu James-Iroha, Otobong Nkanga, Aimée Ntakiyica, Gerda Scheepers, Pascale Marhine Tayou, Barthélémy Toguo. There is an accompanying portfolio of color places of works by each artist.

Editor Marjori Jongbloed anchors this exhibition with a series of essays by Toma Muteba Luntumbue, Christian Hannusseek, Anna-Maria Brandstetter, Kerstin Pinther and John Peffer. They address issues of identity, authenticity, appropriation, globalization and canonization.

Enwezor, Okwui. Snap judgments: new positions in contemporary African photography. 1st edition. Göttingen: Steidl, 2006. 383pp. illus. (chiefly color), bibliog. (pp. 379-383). TR646.A35E58 2006 AFA. OCLC 68629441.

Published in conjunction with the exhibition organized by the International Center of Photography, New York, March 10-May 28, 2006, Snap judgments is a sequel to the 1996 exhibition of contemporary African photography In/sight: African photographers, 1940 to the present. Curator Okwui Enwezor discusses contemporary African photography as counterweight to the Afro-pessimism that pervades Western consciousness about Africa. Contains work by Doa Aly, Lara Baladi, Oladélé Ajiboyé Bamgboyé, Yto Barrada, Luis Basto, Zohra Bensemra, Zarina Bhimji, Mohamed Camara, Ali Chraïbi, Omar D., Depth of Field, Allan deSouza, Andrew Dosunmu, Hala Elkoussy, Theo Eshetu, Mamadou Gomis, Kay Hassan, Romuald Hazoumé, Fatou Kandé Senghor, Moshekwa Langa, Maha Maamoun, Boubacar Touré Mandémory, Zwelethu Mthethwa, James Muriuki, Lamia Naji, Otobong Nkanga, Jo Ratcliffe, Tracey Rose, Randa Shaath, Mikhael Subotzky, Sada Tangara, Guy Tillim, Michael Tsegaye, Hentie van der Merwe, and Nontsikelelo "Lolo" Veleko. Biodata is included.

Reviewed by Sean O'Toole, "Delivering judgment," Art South Africa (Cape Town) 5 (2) summer 2006, page 88.

Exhibition reviewed by Erin Haney and Erika Nimis in African arts (Los Angeles) 40 (1) spring 2007, pages 92-93.

Fiction of authenticity: contemporary Africa abroad. St. Louis, MO: Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, 2003. xvi, 148 pp. illus. (color), bibliog. N7380.5.F53 2003 AFA. OCLC 54789056.

The Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis opened its brand new facility in 2003 with this exhibition of contemporary African art. Curated by Shannon Fitzgerald and Tumelo Mosaka, A Fiction of Authenticity challenges notions of authenticity. It featured eleven artists of African descent living and working outside of Africa. Each artist created a work or installation specifically for this exhibition, addressing issues of authenticity and identity. Participating artists: Siemon Allen, Fatma Charfi, Godfried Donkor, Mary Evans, Meschac Gaba, Kendell Geers, Moshekwa Langa, Ingrid Mwangi, Odili Donald Odita, Owusu-Ankomah, and Zineb Sedira. Essays by Shannon Fitzgerald, Tumelo Mosaka, Gilane Tawadros, Okwui Enwezor, Orlando Britto Jinorio amd Ery Camara explore the same issues of authenticity and identity.

Reviewed by Elizabeth Harney in Art journal (New York) 66 (2) summer 2007, pages 120-127; by Susan Cahan in ArtSouthAfrica (Cape Town) 2 (2) summer 2003, pages 56-58.

Looking both ways: art of the contemporary African diaspora / edited by Laurie Ann Farrell. New York: Museum for African Art; Gent: Snoeck, 2003. 184pp. illus. (pt. color), bibliog. (page 182). N6487.N36L66 2003 AFA. OCLC 54096092.

The premise for Looking both ways is the African artist in the diaspora. Each of the twelve artists featured lives and works outside of the continent. Participating artists include: Fernando Alvim -- Ghada Amer -- Oladélé A. Bamgboyé -- Allan deSouza -- Kendell Geers -- Moshekwa Langa -- Hassan Musa -- N'Dilo Mutima -- Wangechi Mutu -- Ingrid Mwangi -- Zineb Sedira -- Yinka Shonibare. The meanings of "diaspora" for these and other African artists are explored in essays by Simon Njami, Allan deSouza, John Peffer, and Lauri Firstenberg. This exhibition was organized by the Museum for African Art, New York, in 2003 and traveled to other venues.

Recalling the future: art in contemporary Africa / a co-production of Arts in Action Society, Sud-Prod Sen Vision; director, Claudine Pommier; produced in association with Bravo!, Newstyleartschannel. Vancouver, Canada: Arts in Action Society; Dakar, Senegal: Sud-Prod Sen Vision S.A., 2000. 1 videocassette (48 minues). VHS. In English and French with English subtitles. video 000441. OCLC 47111278.

Filmed during the 1998 Dakar Arts Biennial (Dak'Art '98), Recalling the future expoless how the many professional modern visual artists on the African continent take their place in the worldwide evolution of artistic expression. Interviews conducted by Chiekh Tidiane N'Diaye, Nina Ferretti ; interview subjects, Okwui Enwezor, Ousmane Huchard, Iba Diadji N'diaye, Viyé Diba, Youssouph Bath, N'dary Lo, Ousmane Sow, Claudie Poinsard, Lydie Etien Okpoby, Kevin Brand, Remi Sagna, Macline Hien, Rachele Crasso Babehi, Edith Taho, Tanguy.

Rencontres africaines de la photographie (4th : 2001 : Bamako, Mali). Mémoires intimes d’un nouveau millénaire: IVes rencontres de la photographie africaine, Bamako, 2001. Paris: Editions Eric Koehler, 2001. 253pp. illus. (pt. color). Text in French and English. TR646.M422B373 2001 AFA. OCLC 48476800.

The Bamako Biennial of African photography is now a well-established forum for showcasing photographers from across the continent. For the fourth edition in 2001, thirty-two photographers are featured in the main exhibition and eight others are showcased. In addition, six essays focus on the development of photography as an art form in six countries: the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria, Morocco, Mali, Côte d’Ivoire, and South Africa.

Finally, there are seven thematic photo-essays on the African diaspora; Malagasy patrimony; Senegal and cinema; Boubakar Touré Mandémory’s Caravan of Poetry; a Togolese photo workshop with participants from Benin-Togo, Nigeria; two expatriates shooting in Uganda on an AIDs project; and Canary Island photographers.

Rencontres africaines de la photographie (5th : 2003 : Bamako, Mali). Rites sacrés, rites profanes: Ves rencontres de la photographie africaine, Bamako, 2003 / directed by Simon Njami. Bamako, Mali: Ministère de la culture, 2003. 253pp. illus. (pt. color). Text in French and English. TR646.M422B374 2003 AFA. OCLC 60509973.

The fifth Bamako biennial of African photography held in 2003 celebrates the work of photographers living and deceased. The central exhibition showcased 24 photographers, while ancillary exhibitions looked more in depth at select individuals and countries (in 2003, Egypt, Mozambique, Senegal and Zimbabwe). Also included are tributes to the late Mohammed Dib (Algeria), Seydou Keita (Mali), and Van Leo (Egypt). Cuban and other non-African photographers fill out the program.

Rencontres africaines de la photographie (6th : 2005 : Bamako, Mali). Bamako ’05: un alter mon. Barcelona: Centre de Cultura Contemporania de Barcelona, 2006. 159pp. illus. (pt. color). Text in English, Spanish and Catalan. TR646.M422B374 2005 AFA. OCLC 86075709.

The 2005 edition of the Bamako Biennale of African photography moved to Barcelona where the work was exhibited at the Centre de Cultural Contemporania de Barcelona. Actually, it was a scaled-down version of Bamako 2005, but it allowed wider exposure to the African photographers

.

Rencontres africaines de la photographie (6th : 2005 : Bamako, Mali). Bamako 2005: un autre monde = another world. Paris: Éditions Éric Koehler, 2005. 253pp. illus. (pt. color), portraits. At head of title: VIes rencontres africaines de la photographie. Text in French and English. TR820.5.R46 2005 AFA. OCLC 63122107.

The sixth African photography biennial expands on previous Bamako encounters, featuring more than sixty African photographers. Tribute exhibitions were presented for the late Gilbert Albany (Réunion) and John Mauluka (Zimbabwe). Solo exhibitions were given to Malick Sidibé (Mali), Dorris Haron Kasco (Côte d’Ivoire), Youssouf Sogodogo (Mali), and Serge Jongué (France-Guyana). There were group shows for Algerian photographers and Sudanese photographers, and masterclasses and workshops featured photographers from several African countries. In all of the above and in the large international exhibition, there is a bias toward photographers from francophone countries, although South Africa was well represented.

Rencontres africaines de la photographie (7th : 2007 : Bamako, Mali). Dans la ville et au-delà: Bamako 2007 / VIIes Rencontres africaines de la photographie. Paris: Marval, 2007. 269pp. illus. (chiefly color). Text in French and English. TR646.M422B374 2007 AFA. OCLC 180983315.

The seventh encounter of photographers at the Bamako biennial occurred in 2007 with thirty-two featured in the main international exhibitions. The theme of the 2007 photography biennial is “The city and beyond.” In a separate section called “New pictures,” ten more photographers are showcased. Tributes are paid to the late Serge Emmanuel Jongué (Guyana) and the late Armand Seth Maksim (Madagascar). Self-portraitist Samuel Fosso is given a solo show. Several photo projects and workshops are also featured. Biographies of all the photographers are included.

Exhibition reviewed by Joshua Cohen, "VIIes Rencontres africaines de la photographie: Bamako, Mali, November 21-December 23, 2007," African arts (Los Angeles) 42 (2) summer 2009, pages 88-89.

Rencontres de la photographie africaine (8th : 2009 : Bamako, Mali). Encounters of Bamako 9: the African photography biennial: borders. Paris: Culturesfrance: Actes Sud, 2009. 333pp. illus. (pt. color), bibl. refs. TR646.M422B362 2009 AFA. OCLC 643685711.

The 8th edition of Bamako’s Rencontres de la photographie africaine widens the circle of exhibiting African photographers, especially young photographers. The central pan-African exhibition on the theme of “borders” featured forty photographers and thirteen video artists. Host country Mali showcased Malian photographers; archival photographs from the Malian press agency; and Malick Sidibé’s fashion photography. Also, there were side shows on five photographers: Fazal Sheikh (American-Kenyan), Patrizia Guerresi Maïmouna (Italian-Senegalese), Baudouin Mouanda (Congolese (Brazzaville)), Hassan Hajjaj (Moroccan), and Angèle Etoundi Essamba (Cameroonian-Dutch). Michael Stevenson’s Cape Town gallery brought in Pieter Hugo and Nandipha Mntambo. Five special theme exhibitions and three “photo memoires” - - Jean Depara (Angolan), Oumar Ly (Senegalese) and J. K. Bruce Vanderpuije (Ghanaian) - - wrap up Bamako Encounters.

Reviewed by Jennifer Bajorek and Erin Haney in Aperture (New York) no. 200, fall 2010, pages 74-76; by Kerryn Greenberg in ArtSouthAfrica (Cape Town) 8 (3) autumn 2010, pages 82-83.

Short century: independence and liberation movements in Africa, 1945-1994 / edited by Okwui Enwezor. Munich; New York: Prestel, 2001. 496pp. illus. (pt. color), bibl. refs. qNX587.S46 2001 AFA. OCLC 46781919.

This ambitious curatorial project seeks to document the arts of Africa as the colonial era metamorphosed into the postcolonial, as liberation movements and nationalism transform the political landscape from colonies to independent nations and more political turmoil. The terminus of 1994 marks the last holdout - the demise of apartheid South Africa.

The visual arts, graphics, photography, music, literature, drama, cinema, and architecture were all shaped and inspired by these momentous political events. Essays by a wide range of participants and scholars address each of these themes. Historical documents, manifestos, and speeches of African political and cultural leaders are reprinted as part of the official record of "the short century." More than fifty visual artists are represented.

Reviewed by Kennell Jackson in African studies review (New Brunswick, NJ) 46 (2) September 2003, pages 152-153; by John Peffer, “Recalling Africa’s modernity,” Art journal (New York) 63 (2) summer 2004, pages 94-96.

South meets West: 9.11.1999-25.6.2000. Berne, Switzerland: Kunsthalle Bern, 2000. 122pp. illus. (color). N7380.5.S67 2000X AFA. OCLC 470922667.

The South meets West project brought together artists from southern Africa and West Africa – specifically to Accra, Ghana – for an exhibition. The show moved to Berne, Switzerland, where, double entendre, the South (of North-South) met the North, i.e., the Western audience. At the time of the Accra exhibition in November 1999, there was a two-day symposium and discussion on globalization and contemporary African art. The papers and other interventions from that symposium form the text of this catalog. Revealing comments from the visitor’s book in Accra are also included. The invited artists are Jane Alexander, Fernando Alvim, Meschac Gaba, Kendell Geers, Tapfuma Gutsa, Atta Kwami, Goddy Leye, Zwelethu Mthethwa, Tracey Rose, Yinka Shonibare, Pascale Marthine Tayou, Yacouba Touré, Minnette Vári, and Dominique Zinkpe.

Sultan, Olivier. Les Afriques: 36 artistes contemporains. Paris: Autrement, 2004. 158pp. illus., bibliog. N7380.5.S85 2004 AFA. OCLC 61707148.

This 2004 exhibition in Paris brings together 36 artists, mainly African with a handful of French artists, at the Musée des arts dermiers, directed by Sultan Olivier. It includes well known and emerging artists, self-taught and academically trained artists, expatriates and those living on the continent, deceased and alive, working in a variety of media. A sizeable contingent of the artists are from Zimbabwe where Olivier Sultan lived for several years.

Terre noire: Ousmane Sow et les tendances de la sculpture africaine aujourd’hui. Paris: Somogy éditions d’art, 2007. 143pp. chiefly illus. (color), bibl. refs. (pp. 139-143). NB1080.5.T47 2007 AFA. OCLC 173842526.

The idea for the Terre noire exhibition was to showcase contemporary African sculpture in indoor-outdoor settings. Twenty-six sculptors were selected (nine of whom were Zimbabwean stone sculptors). Ousmane Sow was the lead sculptor, but other well-known sculptors featured, such as Sokari Douglas Camp, Mickaël Bethe-Selassie, the Dakpogan brothers, Moustapha Dimé, and Bodys Isek Kingelez.

Tiempo de África: 12 diciembre 2000-4 febrero 2001. Las Palmas de Gran Canaria: Centro Atlántico de Arte Moderno, 2000. 318pp. illus. (color), bibliographies. Text in Spanish, English, French. N7380.T54 2000X AFA. OCLC 49326533.

On the cusp of the 21st century, curator Simon Njami chose the theme of Time for this retrospective exhibition of 20th century African art. The twenty-one artists selected represent various periods and perspectives: traditional sculptors, early 20th-century artists, popular artists, schooled artists, Negritude and post-colonial artists, postmodern artists, international artists, and exiled artists. Among those exhibited were Belachew Yimer, Ernest Mancoba, Chéri Samba, El Anatsui, Christian Lattier, Malangatana, Bili Bidjocka, and Amié Ntakiyica.

TransAfricana: artisti contemporanei: Bologna, 15 gennaio-24 febbraio 2000, San Giorgio in Poggiale, Collezioni d'arte et di storia della Fondazione Cassa di risparmio in Bologna / curated by Mary Angela Schroth; catalog edited by Sandra Federici and Andrea Reggiani. Bologna: Lai-momo, 2000. 77pp. illus. (color). N7380.5.T74 2000 AFA. OCLC 43577108.

An exhibition of contemporary African art in Bologna, Italy, featured eleven artists living and working in the diaspora. Several have connections to Italy. Includes works by Kwesi O. Owusu-Ankomah, Sally Arnold, Renée Cox, Theo Eshetu, Claire Gavronsky, Fathi Hassan, Ali Kichou, Victor Matthews, Ouattara, Rosemarie Shakinovsky, and George Zogo.

Transferts / curated by Toma Muteba Luntumbue. Brussels: Palais des beaux-arts, 2003. 254pp. illus. (color). Text in Dutch, French and English. N7380.T736 2003 AFA. OCLC 54940868.

Transferts was an exhibition of 28 African artists invited by Africalia to the Palais des beaux-arts in Brussels. Curator Toma Muteba Luntumbue had selected artists from strikingly different backgrounds, many quite well known, others not. There is a decided preference for conceptual art, installations, video and photography in his selection. Africa Screams, a companion exhibition to Transferts, featured Ghanaian and Nigerian horror film posters with an essay by Tobias Wendl.

Why Africa? / curated by André Magnin. Milano: Mondadori, 2007. 156pp. chiefly illus. (color), bibl. refs. (p. 154). Text in Italian and English. ND1080.5.W59 2007 AFA. OCLC 318360438.

The now familiar, well-traveled Pigozzi Collection of Contemporary African Art is shown for the first time in Italy in 2009. This scaled-down version of the Pigozzi collection features only sixteen artists. A few of the works shown date are new acquisitions from 2006-2007, but much is already well publicized and is recognizably “Pigozzi.”