“Africa Is No Island” at MACAAL In Marrakesh

From February to August, the Museum of African Contemporary Art, Al Maaden (MACAAL), Marrakech opens two exhibitions curated by Jeanne Mercier and Baptiste de Ville d’Avray, and independent curator, Madeleine de Colnet.  A semi-permanent exhibition comprised of the Foundation Alliances’ general collection and L’Afrique n’est pas une île (Africa Is No Island), an exhibition of contemporary photography from the African continent and the diaspora.

The curators chose works based on three themes; ‘Je suis ma représentation’ (I am my own representation), Dessiner des géographies’ (Drawing Borders) and ‘Recueillir l’histoire’ (Transcribe History). This display runs alongside a collage-based photography installation of works by other Afrique in Visu artists which covers part of the exhibition space.

The exhibition entails work from about 40 emerging and established photographers who are working from a distinctly African perspective. The artists interrogate universally relevant cultural concepts of tradition, spirituality, family and the environment, within the context of modern African experiences and daily life.

The exhibition will also be accompanied by a sound installation by Italian artist Anna Raimondo which emulates the everyday noises of Marrakech. By immersing the audience in a unique audio-visual environment, the ambience will bring to life, the photographic practice in present-day Africa while reflecting MACAAL’s commitment to placing Moroccan art within the wider context of African cultural output.

Multi-layered images of Benin-based, Ivory Coast-born photographer Ishola Akpo will also be featured. The series L’essentiel est invisible pour les yeux, shown previously at LagosPhoto Festival, explores the photographer’s family history and memories through images which detail his grandmother’s dowry: gin bottles, clothes and beads.

Johannesburg-based artist Lebohang Kganye’s photography fuses her interest in sculpture and performance, as well as her efforts to archive and memorialise her personal history and identity through family photographs.

Ecological issues linked to plastic and electronic waste are recurrent themes in Nyaba Léon Ouedraogo’s series Les Phantoms du Fleuve Congo which is inspired by the colonial-era text The Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad.

Other artists participating include Maïmouna Guerresi, Ayana V Jackson, François-Xavier Gbré, Hicham Gardaf,  Joana Choumali, Lebohang Kganye, Leila Alaoui, Mouna Karray, Mustapha Azeroual, Namsa Leuba, Sammy Baloji, Abdoulaye Barry, Fatoumata Diabaté, Georges Senga, Héla Ammar and Seydou Camara. For the full list and other information, visit www.macaal.org

Africa Is No Island is open from February 24 – August 24, 2018

Image: Lebohang Kganye, The alarm, Kefa Lefa Laka, 2013. 

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