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NB: as of 23 September 2008, all new artSMart articles are being published on the site news.artsmart.co.za.

AFRICA REMIX (article first published : 2007-07-12)

A South African version of The Africa Remix Catalogue has been published jointly with Jacana Media and distributed internationally. Some 2,000 copies, each containing 270 full-colour pages and carrying all sponsor logos, have been produced. Printed in paperback ISBN 978-1-77009-363-8, it retails at R250.

This incredible resource also contains a comprehensive section on African leaders such as Senghor, Nkrumah and Biko, as well as festivals, journals, institutions and movements that have shaped culture on the continent.

Africa Remix: Contemporary Art of a Continent features the work of more than 85 artists from 25 countries on the African continent. Considered to be the largest exhibition of contemporary African art ever seen in Europe, it includes paintings, sculpture, installations, videos, drawings, photography and design.

Africa Remix explores the themes of city and land (the contrasting experiences of urban and rural life); identity and history (including issues of tradition and modernity, and the relation of the individual to the community); and body and soul (religion, spirituality, emotion and sexuality).

The proposal to bring Africa Remix to South Africa is an attempt to address the historical imbalances and inaccurate portrayal of the image of Africa that has been so prevalent. Never before in the history of the continent has an exhibition of such magnitude, focusing exclusively on Africa, been shown to African audiences. To date, exhibitions on Africa are curated by non-Africans, are held either in Europe or the US, and are funded by western institutions, governments and corporations.

Chief curator of Africa Remix Simon Njami has been working on the exhibition for ten years, travelling around the African continent to meet artists, visit art schools and study the different approaches and cross-over cultures that thrive as intensely and as contradictorily as anywhere else in the world. For many years now, Simon Njami has been the editor-in-chief of Revue Noir, a Paris-based magazine for culture with African roots. Born in Cameroon, educated there and in Europe, he is one of the foremost experts on African culture, which he has introduced to the rest of the world.

The Africa Remix exhibition runs at the Johannesburg Art Gallery until September 30. More information from Amy Watson on email: amyw@joburg.org.za




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