Showing posts from February, 2011

The Tate Modern's Kerryn Greenberg in Lagos

I already told you about last autumn’s symposium Curating in Africa at Tate Modern and the videos documenting the event at the Tate’s video channel. So, I naturally assume, that you will be interested in the organiser Kerryn Greenberg return visit to the Centre for Contemporary Arts in Lagos. Here’s what Next had to say about it:

With love from the Tate

By Obidike Okafor,

Next, February 19, 2011 04:09AM

United Kingdom-based South African curator, Kerryn Greenberg, held a session with members of the art community at the Centre for Contemporary Art (CCA), Yaba, Lagos on February 10. She shared her experiences and the aspirations for one of the major art institutions in Britain, the Tate Modern, where she works. Her talk, centred on plans for African artists on the continent and those in the Diaspora, was delivered to an audience comprising art collectors, students, artists and representatives of the National Gallery of Art.

Greenberg, who was in Nigeria for a two-week residency at the CCA, noted that curating is as essential as the art being displayed. Touching on the objectives of Tate Modern, she disclosed that the museum has realised the importance of expanding its African content after a decade of existence, hence its resolve to have a rich representation of contemporary and modern African art.

Curatorial past

The curator, who has a Master of Arts degree in Curatorial Studies from Bard College, New York and who joined Tate Modern in 2007, also spoke on projects she has handled in the past. They include Frédéric Bruly's ‘Bouabré'; Francis Alÿs' ‘The Story of Deception', John Baldessari's ‘Pure Beauty'; Nicholas Hlobo's ‘Uhambo' and Rothko's ‘The Late Series'.

She also gave insight into the intricacies of curating at the Tate Modern, using Francis Alys' works as an example. She noted that works by the talented artist start with an uncomplicated action either by him or others, which is thereafter documented in a range of media. Greenberg said his work explores issues affecting Latin America and border zones in areas of conflict.

While nothing that Alÿs, uses video projection and film, the curator observed that he also spreads his ideas through postcards, adding that painting and drawing are equally central to his work. Greenberg talked about some of the artist's video installations including ‘Tornado'; ‘The Green Line' and ‘When Faith Moves Mountains'. She disclosed that it was difficult to get the right equipment to screen ‘Tornado' at the Tate Modern because it was shot in high resolution.

Life at the Tate

Taking the audience through the different levels at the UK museum, Greenberg disclosed how each floor affects the artist's showing. "Level Four is for more established artists, while Level Two, Level Three and Level Five are for smaller groups. Emerging international artists are shown on Level Two," she said.

Greenberg whose first African curatorial project was South Africa's Nicholas Hlobo's ‘Uhambo' held on Level Two of the Tate Modern, further disclosed that the exhibition is the first of many that will involve Africans on the continent and in the Diaspora. Tate Modern, she added, will build relationships and show more works from Africa in the near future.

Greenberg also disclosed that she had earlier organised a symposium for African curators including Bisi Silva of the CCA. "I have been having conversations with artists in Lagos. I am always glad to collaborate with my colleagues from the continent," she said.

During the interaction, Bisi Silva wondered what relevant government organisations were doing to support collaborations between Nigerian artists and international organisations. Eze Obizue of the Education and Research Department of the NGA, responded that artists have benefited, as they had been part of Art Expos held in Las Vegas and New York; the Dak'Art biennale in Dakar, Senegal; Lagos International Art Expo and the African Regional Summit on Visual Art (ARESUVA), held in Abuja.

Advising young artists who want to be recognised internationally, Greenberg said, "Artists need to be ambitious, they are not ambitious. When they develop their works, they can find themselves. Apply for residencies, discover possibilities, and keep on trying if you want to grow internationally."

AAF Lagos: Call for Entries for LagosPhoto 2011

African Artists Foundation just published this call for entries.


In 2010 the first - ever photographic festival in Nigeria took place: LagosPhoto. It was very successful, with over 25 participating photographers, several indoor and outdoor exhibitions, and countless visitors who experienced the wide variation in photographic practice represented: fine art, photojournalism, amateur, professional showcased in Lagos for over two months.

The African Artists’ Foundation (AAF), initiator and organizer of LagosPhoto, is now launching a call for entries for the next edition of the festival, to be held in October 2011.

As with the previous edition, the main theme of the festival remains ‘No Judgment, Africa Under the Prism.’ Within this theme we are looking for the Hidden Stories of Africa as a sub theme to further guide our selection. Photographers from all nationalities and backgrounds are called upon to submit their stories for consideration to be included in the festival. We are interested in all sorts of stories: positive, negative, objective and subjective. Stories that show a side of Africa we are not used to seeing in the current media. The theme does not indicate a bias towards a photojournalistic approach but rather a sort of guide towards today’s contemporary image culture especially in Africa. Photographic style and approach are very important in the selection process.


Please read the guidelines below for submission carefully before submitting your work for consideration.

Guidelines for submissions for LagosPhoto 2011

LagosPhoto / AAF calls on photographers and curators to submit their work or proposals for LagosPhoto

1. When can I submit my work for the LagosPhoto 2011?

We welcome proposals submitted by 20 March 2011.

2. Who is invited to send in work?

We welcome work and proposals by professional photographers, photography curators and institutions from all over the world.

  1. What kind of work can I submit?

LagosPhoto 2011 wants to show the Hidden Stories of Africa, and any photographic story that is connected to this theme may be entered. Besides traditional photographic essays we welcome photographic art projects, and photography based multimedia presentations.

  1. What complementary information do I need to add to my submission?

The work should be accompanied by:

* C.V. with contact details (in English)

* a short and clear description of the series/project (word/pdf) (in English)

NB. Sending in a specific series is far better than just giving us a web address where the series is to be found.

  1. How many series and photographs can I submit?

We have no guideline for the amount of series or photos that can be submitted. Stories need to be edited to relevance; we suggest a maximum of 25 images for one story.

  1. What are the technical specifications?

* We only accept material submitted through DVD, CD-ROM or email (10 Mb max.)

* Digital files should be provided at high quality and at a resolution of at least 1000x1500 pixels. Images through email preferably in JPEG format.

* Always save files in RGB or grayscale mode, not as CMYK. If color management is used, please include the color profiles in the image files.

* Your work should be sent as separate image files, no PDF or Word files. Powerpoint, Director, MPEG files (and such) or video DVDs may only be used when concerning a multimedia presentation that cannot be presented otherwise. Even then send some separate images (stills) in addition.

* Submissions will not be returned.

7. When can I expect a response on my submission?

Please do not expect a quick reply. We will moest probably receive hundreds of submissions and they will take some time to process. Please rest assured that everything we receive will be carefully looked at and that everyone will receive an answer.

8. How can I submit my work?

All submissions can be sent to our office in Nigeria via email or post:

Lagos Photo 2011 - African Artists’ Foundation

54 Raymond Njoku Street

Off Awolowo Road




You are also free to send in your work by a file-sharing service like or

9. How will my work be presented, if selected?

LagosPhoto is not able to ship or show any original artwork under its responsibility. All selected work will be produced under the auspices of the AAF / LagosPhoto. By submitting work you agree to these guidelines.

10. Will I be invited to Lagos for the opening ceremony?

If you are selected to participate in the festival, we will do our utmost to pay for a trip and stay in Lagos for the opening ceremony, however this is not a guarantee. You are of course invited to the opening ceremony and additional program as an exhibiting artist.


Two Upcoming Events

The last few weeks have been busy for a variety of reasons. Hence, the hiatus on this blog, an even longer hiatus than usual. But since I found these two in my inbox today …

First, an interesting event – and publication – if, like me, you’re interested in the intersection between arts/visual culture and ideas/discourses (and if you enjoy and informal chat over a free drink, I’m sure there’ll be opportunity for that as well).

Special issue launch

Print Cultures, Nationalisms and Publics of the Indian Ocean

Africa. Journal of the International African Institute

With guest editors Isabel Hofmeyr and Preben Kaarsholm

Monday 28 February 2011, 6pm

Brunei Gallery, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS)

The Indian Ocean region is an important geo-political arena, and is making its presence felt across a range of disciplines. This special issue provides an overview of emerging trends in the rich field of Indian Ocean studies and draws out their implications for scholars of Africa. The focus is on the role of print and visual culture in constituting public spheres and nationalisms. Themes addressed unfold between Africa and India as well as along the African coast from KwaZulu-Natal to the Arab world. Attention is paid to the transnational dynamics of Islam. The contributions extend debates on print culture, nationalism and publics within African studies and demonstrate how research on the Indian Ocean can be enriched through insights from East and southern African studies.

The International African Institute (IAI) and Cambridge University Press (CUP) invite you to celebrate the launch of this 2011 special issue of Africa. This is the first issue of the journal to be published by CUP as part of a new publishing partnership with the IAI. CUP and the IAI are also collaborating on the International African Library monograph series and the Africa Bibliography, currently being digitised as an online fully searchable database.


Monday 28 February 2011, 6pm

Brunei Gallery, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG

RSVP to Stephanie Kitchen, sk111[@] //

And, yes, a slight East Africa bias today, there’s another interesting event organised The Centre of African Studies at SOAS that you may want to put into your diary.

Africa Seminar Series

Art Education in Kenya

Thursday 10 March 2011, 5pm

B102, Brunei Gallery Building, SOAS, Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG

Speakers: Alla Tkachuk (MASK), Donald Maingi (Birkbeck College, University of London), Mercy Kagia (Kingston University), Nicholas Addison (Institute of Education, University of London), Chair: Chege Githiora (SOAS, University of London)

Please RSVP to cas [at]