ArtWa News: Art X Lagos announces 2019 Prize Finalists and More


ODUDUWA MOBILE MUSEUM TO OPEN IN LAGOS ON SATURDAY. The mobile museum, which will be unveiled at the Brazilian Embassy, consists of priceless cultural materials of African origin that will travel all over Lagos for the next 60 days. This initiative by House of Odùduwà, led by the Ooni of Ife, and governments of Brazil, Cuba and over 20 other countries aims to draw global attention to the richness of the Yoruba culture amongst other things. [Guardian Arts]

ART X LAGOS ANNOUNCES THE FIVE FINALISTS FOR 2019 PRIZE. For its fourth edition, which holds from 1 November to 3 November 2019, Art X Lagos has named Ayomitunde Adeleke, Christopher Nelson Obuh, Etinosa Yvonne, Peter Okotor, and Yadichinma Ukoha-Kalu as the finalists for the Access Bank ART X Prize. The prize to the winner includes cash of N 1,500,000 towards a project in progress and a three month residency at Gasworks in London in 2020. [Instagram]

AFRICAN BIENNALE OF PHOTOGRAPHY ANNOUNCES DATES AND EXHIBITORS LIST. The 12th edition of Bamako Encounters – African Biennale of Photography, titled Streams of Consciousness, inspired by the 1977 record by Abdullah Ibrahim and Max Roach, will take place in Bamako, Mali, from November 30, 2019 to January 31, 2020. This edition, which celebrates the biennale’s 25 years of existence, will feature 85 artistic positions from the African art world. Selected artists include Abraham Oghobase, Adeola Olagunju, Selasi Awusi Sosu, Boubakary Touré and Yagazie Emezi. [e-Flux]

WHY BEING AN AFRICAN ARTIST IS SO IMPORTANT TODAY. Ekow Eshun, a British writer, broadcaster, and curator, writes in favour of looking at African artists as artists from Africa: “Your job, as it were, is to be an African artist, which is just to say that you have the space, the liberty, the luxury, the possibility to draw from Africa and to make of that lineage and that heritage what you will, and to present Africa not as a fixed proposition, but as a state of possibility.” And pointing out that, “I think the mistake we make is to assume that if you’re an artist from Africa, your job is to faithfully represent Africa to the exclusion of anything else.” [CNN]

BIENNALE DE LUBUMBASHI 2019 REIMAGINES THE MAP OF THE WORLD. The 6th Edition of the Lubumbashi Biennial entitled ‘Future Genealogies, Tales from the Equatorial Line has been scheduled for 24 October to 24 November 2019 in the Democratic Republic of Congo. This edition, which will explore the possibilities of redrawing the map of the world, is inspired by Cameroonian philosopher Achille Mbembe’s notion of “decompartmentalization. According to Mbembe, “There is not a part of the world whose history does not have an African dimension, just as there is an African history only as an integral part of the world.” [Harper’s Bazaar]


Over thinking (2019), Djakou Kassi Nathalie. Courtesy SMO
Over Thinking (2019), Djakou Kassi Nathalie. Courtesy SMO


SMO PRESENTS STASIS AT TEMPLE MUSE. The exhibition celebrating commissioned artworks by Kelechi Nwaneri (Nigeria), Nathalie Djakou Kassi (Cameroon) and Olawunmi Banjo (Nigeria) curated by Sandra Mbanefo Obiago of SMO Contemporary Art opened last Saturday, 31 August and will run till 18 October 2019. The artists through their various mediums of ceramic, charcoal and canvas “provide a nuanced interpretation of the tension that is STASIS [state of stillness] and unpack the contradiction of a word that encapsulates both passivity and action, stability and disintegration.” [SMO]

DEBORAH SEGUN’S EXHIBITION OPENS AT RSVP ON SATURDAY. This solo exhibition of new works by Deborah Segun, titled ‘Still Life,’ explores silhouettes, objects and abstract forms. [Instagram]

ZEITZ MOCAA PRESENTS FIRST EXHIBITION FOR CHILDREN. An exhibition titled ‘And So The Stories Ran Away’—a title inspired by a Nigerian Ekoi legend—opens at the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa in Cape Town this Sunday, 8 September. Organized by Zeitz MOCAA Centre for Education, the exhibition is created to engage the imaginations of children and encourage an interactive experience with works of art. [Zeitz]


The People Shall Govern! (1982) Courtesy: Art Institute of Chicago/Hyperallergic
The People Shall Govern! (1982) Courtesy: Art Institute of Chicago/Hyperallergic


THE SOUTH AFRICAN ART COLLECTIVE THAT IMAGINED THE END OF APARTHEID. A look at the Medu Art Ensemble; founded to advocate for an end to the apartheid government through creative expression, members had to go into exile, and ended after a deadly attack by the South African Defense Force at its headquarters in Gaborone. The exhibition, ‘The People Shall Govern! Medu Art Ensemble and the Anti-Apartheid Poster,’ was at the Art Institute of Chicago through 3 September 2019. [Hyperallergic]

NJIDEKA AKUNYILI CROSBY AND ELIAS SIME ARE HONOREES AT SMITHSONIAN’S ART AWARD. The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art announces that it will recognize the outstanding achievements of the Nigerian and Ethiopian artists at its 4th annual African Art Awards, which will hold on 25 October 2019. The artists, Akunyili Crosby (visual artist working primarily in mixed-media paintings and collage) and Sime (multidisciplinary artist working primarily in relief sculpture and architecture) are praised for their “focus on the personal and societal impact of connection as they work with materials evocative of contemporary renewal, reuse and hybridity.” [Press Release]

INSTALLATION OF 500 JERRY CANS BY NIGERIAN KIDS IN LONDON. The exhibition, titled ‘My Story of Water,’ comprise 500 jerry cans, on which the children have painted their thoughts on water, displayed at Oxo Tower Wharf, and a photo exhibition of the project at City Hall from 3rd till 16th September 2019. The exhibition, organized by Five Cowries Arts Education Initiative based in Lagos and curated by Polly Alakija, is an arts education project bringing together children, young people and teachers from across Nigeria with partners around the world to educate and raise awareness of water pollution crisis affecting our environment, climate and waterways and our need to protect them. [Totally Thames]


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