Ghana Freedom – The Ghanian Pavilion at the 58th Venice Art Biennale 2019

Place: Venice, Country: Italy
La Biennale, Venezia
Ghana Freedom – The Ghanian Pavilion at the 58th Venice Art Biennale 2019
Text: Inexhibit
Photos: see captions

El-Anatsui-Earth-Skin-Pavilion-of-Ghana-photo-Iacolpo-Rondinella

Ghana Freedom – The Ghanian Pavilion at the 58th Venice Art Biennale 2019

The Pavilion of Ghana – which, this year, participates at the Venice Art Biennale for the first time – presents works by six invited artists: Felicia Abban, John Akomfrah, El Anatsui, Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, Ibrahim Mahama, and Selasi Awusi Sosu.
Curated by Nana Oforiatta Ayim and designed by Sir David Hadjaye, the Ghanian pavilion’s exhibition is entitled “Ghana Freedom” (after a song wrote by E.T. Mensah in 1957 to celebrate the national independence) and explores the legacy and trajectories of that regained freedom through the work of six artists spanning three generations.
Located at the Venetian Arsenal, the exhibition comprises large installations by El Anatsui (b. 1944) and Ibrahim Mahama (b. 1987); portraits by photographer Felicia Abban (b. 1935) and painter John Akomfrah (b. 1957), and a video-sculpture by Selasi Awusi Sosu (b. 1976).

El-Anatsui-Yaw-Berko-Ghana-Pavilion-Photo-by-David-Levene

El Anatsui, Yaw Berko, 2019, aluminum printing plates, bottle tops, and copper wires.
Dimensions variable. Courtesy of the artist. Photo: David Levene.

El Anatsui’s installation is particularly impressive and visually powerful. It consists of beautiful tapestries in which earthy browns, dazzling yellows, and intense reds alternate. Yet, the real surprise is to find out that the tapestries are made out from a large number of small fragments of different materials – especially aluminum from used crown caps and cans – attached to a thin supporting net, hundreds or thousands of tiny tesserae which form geographical maps of imaginary territories into which the public lose themselves by exploring meandering rivers and contour lines.

El Anatsui-Earth-Skin-detail-Pavilion of Ghana-58th-Venice Art Biennale-2019-photo-Inexhibit-3

El Anatsui-Earth-Skin-detail-Pavilion of Ghana-58th Venice Art Biennale 2019-photo-Inexhibit-1

above: El Anatsui, Earth Shedding Its Skin, 2019, Bottle caps and copper wires, details, dimensions variable, photos Inexhibit, 2019.
(C
over image: photo Italo Rondinella. Courtesy La Biennale di Venezia)

As David Hadjaye says: “Being able to show the diversity and creativity of Ghana on an international scale is an incredible achievement, and one which showcases the talent that we have to offer. The commitment and inspiration shown by the President in commissioning this pavilion is a testament to what our country has to offer the art community.”

Felicia-Abban-2-Ghana-Pavilion-2-photo-Iacopo-Rondinella

Felicia Abban, Untitled (Portraits and Self-Portraits), (c. 1960–70s)
Digital images generated from original prints. 50×40 cm. Photo: Italo Rondinella. Courtesy La Biennale di Venezia

yadom-Boakye-2-Pavilion-of-Ghana-photo-I-Rondinella

Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, Just Amongst Ourselves (2019), series of paintings, oil on linen and canvas. Photo: Italo Rondinella. Courtesy La Biennale di Venezia.

Akomfrah-Elephant-in-the-room-Ghana-Pavilion-Photo-David-Levene

John Akomfrah, The Elephant in the Room – Four Nocturnes (2019)
Three-channel HD color video installation, 7.1 sound Four Nocturnesis, a new commission for the inaugural Ghana pavilion at the 58th International Art Exhibition of la Biennale di Venezia. Co-commissioned by the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture of Ghana, Sharjah Art Foundation and Smoking Dogs. Films with support from Lisson Gallery. Photo: David Levene.

Mahama-Ghana-Pavilion-photo-Iacopo-Rondinella

Ibrahim Mahama, A Straight Line Through the Carcass of History 1649 (2016–19)
Smoked fish mesh, wood, cloth, and archival materials. Photo: Italo Rondinella. Courtesy La Biennale di Venezia.


58th Venice Biennale of Art 2019 | May You Live in Interesting Times

58th Venice Biennale of Art 2019 | May You Live in Interesting Times

58th Venice Biennale of Art 2019 | May You Live in Interesting Times


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copyright Inexhibit 2019 - ISSN: 2283-5474