About the exhibition:
Of Beauty, Blackness & Power
We were inspired by the emergence of African artists at European art events to work with Philippe Dupont, a great lover of contemporary African art, in realising this exhibition of African-American and African photography: Of Beauty, Blackness & Power, which we finished installing just a few days before quarantine began.
This exhibition highlights seven contemporary artists’ perspectives on African-American and African identity.
While four of the artists use the medium of self-portrait, each vantage point is different, spanning multiple generations. As is often the case for exhibitions in the Arendt House hall, we selected up-and-coming photographers and artists whose work has appeared at important shows like the Whitney, Sharjah and Venice Biennials.
The 22 photographs chosen portray novel positions in photography, which are connected to diverse aesthetic questions surrounding issues of African and African-American identity.
The common thread running through the works is a singular, personal stance toward African and African-American history and culture. On one side, we have African-American artists from the post-black, post-racial era; on the other, African artists dealing with topical questions related to the realities of urban and post-apartheid life, as well as themes inspired by African tradition.
- Zanele Muholi
- Prince Gyasi
- Mohau Modisakeng
- Lunga Ntila
- Lyle Ashton Harris
- Caecilia Tripp
- Hank Willis Thomas
In the work of Ghanaian artist Prince Gyasi, community involvement and the exploration of the visual aesthetic of black people take on a more colourful and playful tone. With their lightness and humour, his photographic compositions send out a message of hope.
|We see a broad palette of gestures and situations which reflect a certain ‘blackness’ captured within ritualised and choreographed scenes of daily life by the artist’s lens.
Using only an iPhone, Gyasi creates a whole new universe, quirky and surreal, in homage to young Ghanaians in hardship. He also uses his photography to help marginalised and disadvantaged youth through his non-profit organisation, Boxedkids.
|click to view in 360°||click to view in 360°|
This exhibition displays a variety of aesthetic approaches which together form a small cross-section of new movements in African-American and African photography, dealing with questions of identity, intersectionality, tradition and modernity in a critical examination of the double-edged game that is seeing and being seen
Paul di Felice
The exhibition is on view at Arendt House. At the moment the gallery will be open to the public while maintaining social distancing rules. However you may still enjoy the virtual exhibition here on Arendt & Art and also on the Arendt & Medernach Facebook page_
Photos taken before the lockdown by Eric Chenal.