HOUSE OF REASONED TRUTHS

Kisito Assangni

  • 15th March - 20th April 2024
  • Stephen Lawrence Gallery

Closed Easter Weekend (Friday 29th and Saturday 30th March)

Recent video art from Africa:

Works by Halida Boughriet (Algeria); Cesar Schofield Cardoso (Cape Verde); Djibril Drame (Senegal); Victor Mutelekesha (Zambia); Harold Offeh (Ghana); Minnette Vari (South Africa); Haythem Zakaria (Tunisia).

Technological advancement and interculturalism have transformed contemporary African art, introducing a broad range of new forms of expression along with new perspectives on culture and society to Africa’s thriving art scene. With particular attention to contemporary video art, House of Reasoned Truths taps into the vitality of this recent work, capturing its aesthetics and broad range of formal strategies, while focusing specifically on its capacity to address the challenges of modern life in an era of globalization.

The artists in this show come from across the continent. They work reflexively, using the conventions on their respective social worlds to meditate on them and their contradictions. They speak to questions of community, social cohesion, feminism, diasporic subjectivity, geopolitics, environmental forces, performativity, and power – provoking reflection on Africa and the world today, beyond historically reductive classifications.

Artists 

Halida Boughriet (Algeria) graduated from the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris and the Exchange Program of the SVA New York in cinematography. She explores a broad media range and does make performance a central issue to her artistic expression, through varied elements, references and tools. The omnipresence of human bodies is an essential aspect of her poetical/experimental work. 

Halida Boughriet has exhibited at several institutions such as the Documenta, Museum of Modern Art of Algiers; Hood Museum, Hanover, USA; Centre Pompidou, MAC/VAL Museum, Institut du Monde Arabe, Paris; Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin; Dakar Biennale to name a few.

Cesar Schofield Cardoso (Cape Verde) is a photographer, videographer, and software developer. His work engages with history, memory, politics, and everyday life, aiming to grasp the complex dynamics that characterize the conditions and possibilities of the place where he was born, Cabo Verde, at the heart of the Atlantic Ocean.

Cardoso’s work has been showcased in a variety of contexts, including Venice, S.Tomé e Príncipe Biennales; Apexart, New York; Hangar Artistic Research Center, Lisbon; Es Baluard Museu d’Art Contemporani de Palma, Spain; La Base sous-marine, Bordeaux.

Djibril Drame (Senegal) is visual artist based in Dakar after living in Los Angeles for years. His work strives to shed light on socially relevant and potentially controversial issues affecting our world today. It reflects the many aspects of Africa’s multifaceted history and innumerable intertwined cultures, offering an alternative African narrative.

Drame has had numerous exhibitions internationally including Fowler Museum, Los Angeles; Lincoln Film Center, New York; Somerset House, London; MACAM – Modern and Contemporary Art Museum, Byblos; Haus Der Jugend, Freiburg; Dakar Biennale.

Victor Mutelekesha (Zambia)’s work deals with subjects such as hybridity, diaspora identity, and the human condition, and has been featured in such international exhibitions as the Venice, Havana, Dakar Biennales. Mutelekesha has been the subject of solo exhibitions at the Gallery Palazio Tito in Venice, Italy; the Henry Tayali Art Centre in Lusaka, Zambia; and the Interkulturelt Museum and Kunstnerforbundet Gallery for Contemporary Art in Oslo, Norway.

He’s the founder of Lusaka Contemporary Art Centre (LuCAC) in Zambia.

Harold Offeh (Ghana) studied Critical Fine Art Practice at the University of Brighton, MA Fine Art Photography at the Royal College of Art and completed a PhD by practice exploring the activation of Black Album covers through durational performance. Offeh is an artist working in a range of media including performance, video, photography, learning and social arts practice. He often employs humour as a means to confront the viewer with historical narratives and contemporary culture and is interested in the space created by the inhabiting or embodying of history.

He has exhibited widely, including Tate Britain and Modern, London; Studio Museum Harlem, New York; Miami Art Basel; Museum of African Diaspora, San Francisco; MAC VAL Museum, Paris; Kulturhuset, Stockholm; Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen.

Minnette Vari (South Africa) lives in Johannesburg. As Kendell Geers observes in a catalogue essay published in 2004 by Kunstmuseum Lucerne, “Minnette Vári has in her lifetime witnessed the fall of apartheid and all its structures, followed by the new democracy.” In response to this history, Vári has written a history of herself in relation to this trajectory, one that attempts to recover what is lost, to give shape and voice to forgotten or erased memories. Her work conflates self and history, examining how identity arises out of the traumatic past. In her videos and drawings, Vári frequently depicts her own body enduring a disfiguring metamorphosis – she merges with and emerges from nature as well as from the concrete architecture of modern cities. The female “protagonist” of her video works is sometimes archetypal and sometimes spectral, a persona who ingests and is ingested by time. Vári has exhibited her work since the early nineties, participating in such group exhibitions as Banquet, ZKM Karlsruhe; Personal Affects: Power and Poetics in Contemporary South African Art, Museum for African Art, New York; the Venice Biennale (2001 and 2007); the 1oth Havana Biennale and The Divine Comedy: Heaven, Hell and Purgatory Revisited by Contemporary African Artists, MKK Frankfurt.

Haythem Zakaria (Tunisia) attended the Fine Arts School of Tunis. His visual creations, largely imbued with Sufi spirituality, use unconventional visual techniques (glitch, meta-image, cine process) that guide him and involve him in the experimentation with matrix and protocol devices. He is thus led to explore methods aimed at ‘over-producing’ the image through integration, grafting, and superimposition of visual or sound information.

His works have been hosted by Fondation Hippocrène, Paris; Centre Wallonie Bruxelles, Paris; Halle 14, Leipzig; Japan Media Arts Festival, Tokyo; Kamel Lazzar Foundation, Tunis; Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg among others.

About the curator

Kisito Assangni is a Togolese-French curator who studied museology at Ecole du Louvre in Paris. Currently living between London, Paris and Togo, his research interests gravitate towards the cultural impact of globalisation, psychogeography, critical education, and archival systems. He inherently aims at going beyond the usual relations between artist, curator, institution, audience, and artwork in order to engage audiences in encounters with art that are unexpected, transformative, and fun.

His discursive public programs and exhibitions have been shown internationally, including the Venice Biennale, ZKM Museum, Karlsruhe; Whitechapel Gallery, London; Centre of Contemporary Art, Glasgow; Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney; Malmo Konsthall, Sweden; Torrance Art Museum, Los Angeles; National Centre for Contemporary Arts, Moscow; HANGAR Centre of Contemporary Art, Lisbon among others.

Assangni has participated in talks, seminars, and symposia at numerous institutions such as Palais de Tokyo, Paris; Ben Uri Museum, London; Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki; Kunsthall 3.14, Bergen; Depart Foundation, Malibu; Cambridge School of Art, UK; Sint-Lukas University, Brussels; University of Plymouth, UK; University of Pretoria, South Africa; Motorenhalle Centre of Contemporary Art, Dresden.

He coordinates a vast array of cultural projects.

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