Making Africa – A Continent of Contemporary Design
“Making Africa – A Continent of Contemporary Design” is a collection of art, showcasing various African artists from around the world. The exhibition is co-curated by Amelie Klein and Petra Joos and hosted by the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, Spain’s famous modern and contemporary art museum. The exhibition features object and furniture design, graphic arts, illustration, fashion, architecture, urban planning, art, craft, film, and photography, including digital and analogue approaches.
One hundred and twenty African artists participated in the exhibition. The artists include: Nigerian photographer J.D. Ojeikere, British-Tanzanian architect David Adjaye, Afrofuturist Ikire Jones, and designer Kossi Aguessey.
The featured pieces juxtapose past and present, the colonial struggle and liberation. Yet the artists are also firmly positioned in the contemporary African future, where the hopes and aspirations of African freedom fighters have met the innovation and creativity of today’s Afropolitan.
To create this exhibit, the curators began with a few foundational questions: “What is design?” “What is Africa?” “What is African design?” To answer them, the two took several trips to Lagos, Dakar, Cape Town, Nairobi, and Cairo. The team also drew answers and ideas from a network of local artists, directors, and intellectuals. Where a consensus could not be reached, the curators allowed the disagreement to remain and be reflected in the art. This attitude is illustrative of Joos’ characterization of Africa as: “[the] hub of experimentation, generating new approaches and solutions of worldwide relevance.”
The exhibition runs from October 30, 2015- February 21, 2016. Tickets to the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao can be purchased online.