Sunday, 27 July 2008

Experimental Frontiers

Society Through The Eyes of South African and Nigerian Artists

Vansa Western Cape Space
8-10 Spin Street Cape Town,
8018, South Africa

7-12 August 2008
Opening on 7th August at 17hrs.

Curator: Okey Nwafor

Nigeria and South Africa have not really been juxtaposed under the platform of the visual arts. Despite epochal positions occupied by these two countries in the African art scene curators have never thought it expedient to bring these countries face to face under art. Both countries although have had cause to work together in different creative quests have never engaged each other under changing artistic paradigm.

This exhibition is conceptualized not only as an important occasion to address the above theme but also to compare the extent of experimental motivations among younger artists from both countries. The exhibition hopes to interrogate how society has influenced their creative production contextually and formally. Are their motivations socially relevant? Or have their creativities resonated with mere fantastic balderdash? Have they made statements considered as mere rhetoric by the society or have they defied all humanly imposed fear to speak in a manner that reminds one of the emotional temper of 19th Century Romanticism? Diderot notes of two qualities essential for the artist, “Is it socially relevant?” and “is it true?” If this statement is anything worth interrogating then this exhibition has done so in a manner that draws attention to these artists’ sense of seeing. The exhibition tries to initiate debate around the society, the meanings and the purpose of art.

Exhibiting Artists
1. Bright Eke
2. Amarachi Okafor
3. Ozioma Onuzulike
4. Chike Obeagu
5. Dan Halter
6. Stuart Bird
7. Ndidi Dike

Okey Nwafor is a student of African Programme in Museum and Heritage Studies, a programme of the University of the Western Cape, University of Cape Town and Robben Island Museum. He has a BA in Fine and Applied Arts from the department of Fine and Applied Arts of University of Nigeria, Nsukka, and MFA from Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Nigeria. He has traveled widely and participated in numerous international workshops and exhibitions. He is a member of the Pan African Circle of Artists. He is also a poet and writer.

I have had the pleasure of meeting both Ndidie Dike and Ozioma Onzulike and highly recommend their work. If you find yourself in SA over that period do visit and let me know how it was!

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