Showing posts from November, 2009

Interview with Ken George, author of Picturing Islam, on Inside Islam: Dialogues and Debate – a blog under the auspices of the University of Wisconsin I newly discovered. Here the video of the part of the interview that touches on art for a bit of background and the rest of the interview cf. the Inside Islam blog’s entry.

Btw, there is also an interview with Prof. Anderson Sutton on Music and Islam in an earlier entry. Sorry, looks like I cannot embed the audio file, so you might want to listen to it on the blog’s page. There you’ll also find audio files of Indonesian Muslim music. For everyone like me interested in Nigeria also a quick reminder the Veit Erlmann has published an analysis of Usman dan Fodio’s thoughts on music.

Sonia Boyce @ Gasworks, London

Sorry for the short notice but that only came in today:


Artist Talk

Sonia Boyce talks about her project Devotional – a celebration of Black female singers in British entertainment – and her involvement in the Remembering Olive Collective.

Every Day Life – Tony Okujeni (Nigeria) and Alfred Mensa (Ghana)

Works by the two artists exhibited at Galerie, Berlin (Germany). This is the gallery’s blurb in German, followed by my quick translation:

In unseren letzten Ausstellungen standen Polaritäten im Mittelpunkt. Heute freuen wir uns über erstaunliche Ähnlichkeiten. Der eine ist Autodidakt, der andere hat sein Diplom an der Hochschule für Kunst und Design in Auchi erworben. Der eine lebt in Accra in Ghana, der andere in Lagos, Nigeria. Das sind gerade mal knapp 400 km Luftlinie.

Vielleicht ähneln sich ihre Arbeit gerade deshalb. Mit Spachteltechniken lassen sie westafrikanische Alltagsszenen erstehen, zum Teil höchst filigran, zum Teil erst mit einigem Abstand erkennbar.

In dieser Ausstellung zeigen wir einen Ausschnitt der "Roof-Top-Series" von Tony Okujeni und Szenen über den alltäglichen Kampf um Überleben von Alfred Mensa.

Tony Okujeni schaut von den Dächern hinunter auf das wimmelnde Marktgeschehen. Er spielt mit den Farben, um mit großem Geschick unterschiedliche Stimmungen zu unterschiedlichen Tageszeiten einzufangen.

Alfred Mensa befasst sich mit den Menschen und Plätzen, die er seit frühester Jugend genau kennt: die Arbeit der Fischer an Accras Stränden, die Straßen mit ihren fliegenden Händlern und die traditionellen Feste der Ghanaer.

Our last exhibition focused on polarities. Today we are appreciating surprising similarities. One of the artist is self-taught, the other received his diploma in Art and Design from the Auchi Polytechnic. One of them lives in Ghana, the other in Lagos, Nigeria. That is only about 400 km apart.

Maybe that is why there works share many similarities. Using their palette knifes they create scenes from West African daily life, some of them very delicately done, others only recognizable from a distance.

In this exhibition we showcase a selection of works from Tony Okujeni’s ‘Roof Top Series’ and scenes depicting the daily struggle for survival by Alfred Mensa. Playfully he employs colours to capture the atmospheres at different times of the day.

Alfred Mensa is concerned with people and places he already knows since his earliest youth: the work of fishermen at Accra’s beaches, the roads inhabited by hawkers and Ghana’s traditional celebrations.

Not in all instances comfortable with their choice of words and actually not thinking that the two artists’ works, as they are illustrated in the catalogue, have much in common apart from, yes, all illustrating life in West Africa, all being executed by African artists … Anyway, here the link to the exhibition’s website again and here you can download the exhibition catalogue (in German though).