As part of the research for the Bienal de São Paulo, a series of study days are taking place throughout the world to guide the investigative journey leading up to the exhibition. In light of the history between West Africa and Brazil, Accra is one of the four host cities. Afro-Brazilian Muslims settled in West African coastal nations following the most significant slave rebellion in Brazil, the Malê Revolt in 1835.The Accra Study Days, entitled It’s alright! It’s alright!, are taking place 7 April to 10 April 2016 and employ this historical backdrop as a starting point. The Study Days will be framed around a series of exploratory mapping exercises focused on historical memory as that which is on a continuous loop; not only as pasts, but as futures. ANO is a local partner, and Creative Director of Gallery 1957 Nana Oforiatta Ayim and artists Serge Attukwei Clottey and Zohra Opoku are participating. The 32nd edition of the Bienal de Sao Paulo is curated by Jochen Volz, and co‐curated by Gabi Ngcobo, Julia Reboucas, Lars Bang Larsen, and Sofia Olascoaga. Entitled Live Uncertainty, the exhibition will be held from 5 September to 11 December 2016, and will explore representations of balance and disorder in society. For more information as to which sessions are open to the public, please contact email@example.com.
Zohra Opoku is currently on a residency with cultural research platform ANO. Journeying through the Ashanti region of Ghana, Opoku is creating work for her upcoming solo exhibition at Gallery 1957 titled Sassa opening on 25 May. Nana Oforiatta Ayim, Founder of ANO explains: “Through the exploration of the Ashanti concept of sassa – described by art historian Ladislas Segy as ‘the soul that can also lie outside of the body and that flows through all things’ – Opoku’s work is in constant interplay with this notion of the unseen and the immanent.”
On 6 March – independence day in Ghana – a group of more than 50 men and women, dressed in their mothers’ clothes, led a crowd of spectators from the street into the Kempinski Hotel Gold Coast City in Accra. The performance by Serge Attukwei Clottey marked the opening of Gallery 1957.
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A growing number of sub-Saharan African artists are realizing the importance and potency of technology — social media, apps, websites and online platforms focused on the promotion and archiving of African contemporary art. The Ghanaian artist Serge Attukwei Clottey said that thanks to the Internet, where he posts his artistic productions on his Instagram account, he not only was offered — and took — the chance to study in Brazil but he also was contacted by one of his future collectors, who is based in California. “I think technology helps African artists to reach many people in the global art space,” he said by email. “For example, I’ve been getting many residency opportunities from all over the world because people always see my work online.”
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Gallery 1957 Creative Director Nana Oforiatta Ayim gives an insider guide to all the hot spots in the vibrant Ghanaian capital of Accra. Read the article here.
To find out more about Gallery 1957 and the launch exhibition, BLOUIN ARTINFO got in touch with Zakhem and asked him a few questions. Read the interview here
A solo exhibition by Serge Attukwei Clottey of Ghana will inaugurate this new gallery, which is dedicated to displaying the country’s artists. The show’s title refers to a Ghanaian custom of locking up a relative’s clothing for a year after he or she dies, and the works on view — brightly hued textiles — were made after the death of the artist’s mother. Read the article here
Okayafrica spoke to Gallery 1957’s Creative Director, Nana Oforiatta Ayim, about her vision for the gallery and how she plans to use it to engage audiences and profile the work of local artists. Read the article here
Part of the creative direction of Gallery 1957 is to open up the notion of what art is, how it is experienced, and what can be animated by it. To that end, collaborations like the one with Asa Baako open it up beyond the limited confines of the white cube space. Asa Baako was founded in 2011 by Kofi Debrah, and lays great importance on social inclusion and equalisation, on bringing urban and local residents together; as well as on conservation and the natural environment.
Gallery 1957 will open with a performance by Ghanaian artist Serge Attukwei Clottey and his performance collective GoLokal. Clottey is the creator of Afrogallonism, an artistic concept commenting on consumption within modern Africa through the utilisation of yellow gallon containers. To attend, RSVP here.
Artist Ibrahim Mahama discusses his own work and provides insight into contemporary art practice in Ghana today, as well as looking at the role an older generation of Ghanaian artists have played in art history through their search for new modes of artistic expression. To attend, RSVP here.
It’s a cut above the city’s art galleries, pledging a real commitment to promotion, archiving and storage. “There are a handful of real collectors here,” says the gallery’s founder Marwan Zakhem, himself a collector with regional clout. “But they haven’t really been given the opportunity to collect [the work of] many Ghanaian artists before they’ve attained success internationally.” Read the article here.