All posts filed under: culture

San Francisco: Back and Forth Across Place and Time

It’s been about ten days since I flew across the ocean and backward in time from Paris to San Francisco. It was a beautiful stress-free journey, one that put my anxieties for long-distance flights at ease. For some reason, everyone was particularly nice towards me. From the Airport in Paris through London Heathrow and the flight attendants of the long-haul flights all the way to the immigration officers at the San Francisco Airport (somewhat of a surprise considering the extent to which I am often harassed while traveling through airports). By the time I got to my hotel, I was exhausted. My eyes were heavy, not from sleep, I think, but from a sense of having survived the vortex of a time warp. By now, my internal clock was nine hours ahead. Everyone around me was working in slow motion. Or perhaps I was walking backward. I have been invited to San Francisco as a guest lecturer in the MFA Photography program at the Hartford University. I was to join the faculty in a weeklong …

Poétique du Lieu: au-delà du «Focus Afrique» de la Foire Art Paris Art Fair. Traduction par Janine Gaelle

Dans le train de Paris à Berlin, j’ai beaucoup réfléchi aux événements des jours précédents. C’était le dernier week-end de mars 2017, et la scène artistique parisienne était mouvementée. Paris a décidé cette année de suivre la grande tendance du moment: Focus sur le continent africain et ses artistes. De nombreux évènements, dont deux principaux – Art Paris Art Fair et 100% Afriques – , se sont vus décomposés en programmes satellites d’expositions et de conférences dans des lieux tels que La Villette, les Galeries Lafayette, la Galerie Des Galeries, La Colonie et bien d’autres encore. La foire Art Paris Art Fair, cependant, était la plus claire dans sa revendication de se concentrer sur l’Afrique en adoptant comme sous-titre «Afrique Invité d’Honneur». Dans une démarche bien intentionnée, il s’agissait de dérouler le tapis rouge aux artistes africains et de leur offrir une scène internationale où exposer et vendre leurs productions artistiques. Art Paris Art Fair s’est tenue au Grand Palais, haut lieu historique pourvu d’une salle d’exposition construite en 1897 en vue de l’exposition universelle …

Poetics of Location: Beyond “Africa Focus” of the Paris Art Fair 2017

Version  fraiçaise traduite par Janine Gaelle In the train from Paris to Berlin, I reflected on the events of the previous days. It was the last weekend of March 2017 and the Parisian art world was busy. This year, Paris decided to jump on the bandwagon of one of the most fashionable rave: the renewed focus on the African continent and its artists. The events, grouped under two main headings  – the Art Paris Art Fair and 100% Afrique – were further broken down into satellite programs of exhibitions and talks in such places as La Villette, Galeries La Fayette, Galerie Des Galeries, La Colonie and many more. The Art Paris Art Fair, however, was the most literal in its claim of focusing on Africa by adopting “Africa Guest of Honour” as its subtitle. In this, the well-meaning intention was to give African artists a world stage and the corresponding red carpet to showcase and sell their artistic productions. The Art Fair took place at the Grand Palais, a large historic site and exhibition hall built in 1897 in preparation for the Universal …

Africa: A new game of “Scrabble”

We are in Amsterdam. We have been invited in the context of the 5th edition of the Unseen Photo Fair/Festival which takes places every year. We are African artists, curators and cultural operators. I have been scheduled alongside these proactive African cultural CEOs and Artistic Directors to speak in a panel. The panel in question is called ‘Platforms in Africa’. A couple of days ago, I was interviewed by a writer from Volkskrant, a very popular newspaper in The Netherlands with a readership of about 270,000. The content of this interview revolved around the most sensational perception: the sudden attention and renewed fixation on ‘Africa’ So here we are to discuss our various initiatives. We are set to go. After rounds of gruellingly long introductions by the moderator which made the whole affair seem like a live performative reading of the “About” page of websites and artists bios, we run out of time. I was disappointed to say the least. I have been invited one time too many to this kind of panel discussions, that …