Arts & Culture
African Cosmologies: Redux
- 6:00 pm
06 November 2022
The Alta Arts |
5412 Ashbrook D, Houston, TX 77081
African Cosmologies: Redux is an adaptation of the postponed FotoFest Biennial 2020 exhibition, African Cosmologies: Photography, Time, and the Other, featuring artists included in the original iteration of that exhibition and complemented by a series of programs.
African Cosmologies: Redux is a large-scale group exhibition that examines the complex relationships between contemporary life in Africa, the African diaspora, and global histories of colonialism, photography, and rights and representation. The exhibition considers the history of photography as one closely tied to a colonial project and Western image production, highlighting artists who confront and challenge this shortsighted, albeit canonised lineage.
The artists featured in African Cosmologies: Redux turn an eye to social, cultural, and political conditions that inform and influence concepts of representation as they pertain to image production and circulation within Africa and beyond. These artists question the ways in which subjectivity is constructed and deconstructed by the camera, and in the process, reveal legacies of resistance by those who defy traditional ideas of sexual, racial, gender-based, and other marginalised identities.
With decades of work against a colonised view of photography in Africa, Sealy explains,
“Photographic images can only be understood within the contexts of the cultures to which they relate. Only once we understand the cultures within which an image is made, and read, can we begin to lock down any real meaning … The establishment of a canonical reading of photography is in no way universal or democratic. Photography for those locked out of the means of image production becomes an impossible barrier to the right to full and equal human recognition, especially if existence alone is an act of survival.”
Taking its cues from John Coltrane’s avant-garde jazz oeuvre, wherein formal modernisms of the past are made complex by radical imagination and black- futurity, this presentation of diverse ideas, artistic approaches, and material histories proposes a “cosmological exploration” of Africa and the African diaspora— one that defies easy categorisation and spatial and temporal boundaries. Succinctly, it explores the very notions of Africa and Africanness beyond traditional geographic and historical lines.
The artists featured in the African Cosmologies: Redux exhibition include:
Spring Street Studios:
Akinbode Akinbiyi, James Barnor, Edson Chagas, Ernest Cole, Jean Depara, Laura El-Tantawy, Lyle Ashton Harris, Samson Kambalu, Rotimi Fani-Kayode, leo with Shobun Baile, Santu Mofokeng, Sethembile Msezane, Zanele Muholi, Eustáquio Neves, Nyaba L. Ouedraogo, Rosana Paulino, Dawit L. Petros, Zina Saro-Wiwa, Aida Silvestri, Lindokuhle Sobekwa, and Wilfred Ukpong
The Alta Arts:
Sammy Baloji & Mónica de Miranda
Houston Museum of African American Culture:
Faisal Abdu’Allah, Hélène A. Amouzou, Bruno Boudjelal, Jamal Cyrus, Rahima Gambo, Eric Gyamfi, Santu Mofokeng
The Menil Collection:
African Cosmologies: Redux is presented in venues city-wide across Houston until 6th November 2022. More details here
Header Image: Rotimi Fani Kayode, Every Moment Counts II (Ecstatic Antibodies) [detail], 1989. Courtesy of Autograph, London.