Arts,Cities and Countries

AKAA PARIS 2020

15 Oct , 2020  

AKAA – Also Known As Africa is the first contemporary art and design fair focused on Africa in France And reinforce its commitment to showcasing contemporary art from Africa and the diaspora.

 

Decoexplorer following our commitment to contemporary African art, are delighted to announce that the 2020 edition of AKAA will take place exceptionally this year, under the glass roof of the Atelier Richelieu, in the Palais-Royal district, from 13 to 15 November. This 5th edition features twenty-one exhibitors from France, other European countries and Africa, yet one American curator,

AKAA is the only fair in France to spotlight artists working on this market and has to develop something here even if it’s smaller than 1-54 in London

 

The fair, redesigned in this exceptional context, will therefore offer a more intimate format to welcome exhibitors and visitors in the best conditions and to refocus on the sustainability of a market in full development. Access to AKAA will be by invitation only. The dialogue and the relationship between the gallery and its clientele will be privileged, in order to favour networking and projects for artists, and to continue to strengthen the market of contemporary African art in Paris.

 

Several highlights and meetings will be offered throughout the fair to enrich the visiting experience.

 

“I would be very happy to integrate those kinds of [higher calibre] artists and the more established we get, the more feasible it would be to get the participation of those [more renowned] galleries,” says Victoria Mann, the founder of AKAA.“It’s a long-term process. The idea is to open up the fair to other contemporary art scenes in the Middle East and Latin America that are in one way or another connected to the African continent because I don’t think that having a strictly African art fair is sustainable.”

Affordable discoveries by upcoming artists are aplenty from collages by Helina Metaferia, born in the US to Ethiopian parents, and mixed media works by the Bahamas-born, London-based Alexandria Robinson, both at Nomad Gallery (Brussels), to Ugandan artist Ocom Adonias’s charcoal drawings on newspaper collages at Afriart Gallery, Kampala.

Yet some dealers have suggested that AKAA could benefit from being held during Fiac in October and needs to attract more serious collectors to enable more expensive works to be sold. “Unlike 1-54 and Art Lagos, AKAA is missing premiere branding and if the audience isn’t looking for big prices, it’s difficult for the galleries to break even so it needs to work harder to attract collectors from other European cities such as Amsterdam and Berlin,” says Daudi Karungi from Afriart Gallery.

 

AKAA will return to the Carreau du Temple for its sixth edition in November 2021

 

The art director is Armelle Dakouo. For more information, visit www.akaafair.com / contact@akaafair.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Arts,Cities and Countries

MASKS. METAMORPHOSIS OF MODERN IDENTITY

2 Oct , 2020  

This exhibition, featuring more than 100 pieces and curated by Luis Puelles and Lourdes Moreno, explores how masks changed the representation of the human figure in modern art. Initially having a traditional, festive use linked to carnivals and fancy-dress costume, which lingered on in early avant-garde art in depictions of characters from the Commedia dell’arte, masks came to be identified with the grotesque in Goya’s work and emerged as a reference for portraying the face in modern art as a result of the influence of ethnographic masks of non-European cultures in the early 20th century.

 

Mirroring the sequence of a metamorphosis, the exhibition examines how masks were used in art as something absolute, beyond their well-known traditional associations with rituals, magic, the theatre and costume, showing how they went from being objects to artistic images. It traces the evolution of masks from physical objects –tangible elements placed over faces to conceal or replace them – to the gradual abandonment of the presence behind them, eventually leading to their loss of materiality and independence from the face and, ultimately, to the merging of mask and face into a new and ambiguous identity in modern portraiture.

 

Supernatural masks. The artists of the early avant-garde period became increasingly interested in non-western ritual masks as sources of inspiration for shattering the codes of figurative representation and imbuing works with new meanings and varied  nterpretations. Modern artists’ espousal of the aesthetic principles associated with the ‘primitive’ – simplicity, coarseness, spirituality, a hieratic appearance –marked the abandonment of the academic conventions of beauty and harmony and from then onwards the mask acted as a modern synthesis of the human face.

 

CARNIVAL FOLLIES

 

Over the course of history artists have turned to masks and fancy-dress costume as strategies for shaping new identities. Carnival celebrations are a paradigmatic example of the collective release of irrational urges through masks. They are a means of subverting the rules and giving free rein to the most basic instincts. We find similar strategies in the theatre, where characters wear masks and are protected by a physical barrier between reality and appearance, in a universe that combines the grotesque, the comic and caricature.

 

TRANSFIGURED FACES

 

As the last link in the genealogical chain of the presence of masks in the complex modern identity, we find portraits where faces function as ‘inhuman’ masks, with no communicative depth. The triumph of subjectivity, the absence of dogmas and loss of interest in achieving likeness gave rise to a repertoire of identities that were ambiguous, fragmented, disfigured, alienated or concealed by makeup. These ‘faceless’ portraits are an appropriate expression of today’s contradictory society.

 

Bilingual catalogue published on the occasion of the exhibition

 

The catalogue, illustrated with 147 colour plates, includes texts by the exhibition curators Luis Puelles Romero, Professor of Aesthetics and Art Theory at the UMA, Lourdes Moreno, Director of the Carmen Thyssen Museum in Malaga, and contributions from the Museum’s curatorial team.

 

In the following links you can see two videos of the exhibition:

 

https://www.carmenthyssenmalaga.org/multimedia/video/161

https://www.carmenthyssenmalaga.org/exposiciones/2020/Mascaras/vv/visita_virtual.html

 

Museo Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza Málaga From 28 July 2020 to 10 January 2021

 

 

Julio Gonzalez. Máscara austera. 1940

 

 

Pablo Picasso. Etude ‘trois femmes’. 1908

 

Walt Kuhn, Boy with chistera, 1948

 

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Cities and Countries,History of Africa,Our trips,People

Mumuye Figures

23 Jul , 2018   Gallery

Figure from northern Nigeria have been made by a Mumuye. A remarkable feature of the style is teh way in wich the arms and even the abdomen of one piece are used to enclose space within the sculpture.

 

Enjoy our gallery!!

 

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Cities and Countries,Decor and Architecture,History of Africa

THE ORIGIN OF TIMBUKTU

15 May , 2017  

The city of 333 saints takes its name from Tamasheq ‘tin’ or ‘tim’ Buktu, wich means the well of buktu, the name of the guardian of the place who saw the touaregs arrive in the 11th century. This place is still visible in the city amongst other architectural treasures to discover.

 

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Cities and Countries,Decor and Architecture,History of Africa,People,Travel philosophy

THE KWAME NKRUMAH MEMORIAL

28 Feb , 2017  

Created in honour of dr. Kwame Nkrumah the first pesident of Ghana and the father of Independence in 1957, the park sir son, quite the symbol, the former polo grounds of the british coloniser. In the heart of the city, the main attraction is the mausoleum of Nkrumah, a superb pyramid in black marble surrounded by myriad fountains.

 

Memorial kwame Nkrumah (1) Memorial kwame Nkrumah (2) Memorial kwame Nkrumah (3) Memorial kwame Nkrumah (4) Memorial kwame Nkrumah (5)

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Arts,Cities and Countries,Decor and Architecture,Fashion and Lifestyle

MAJORELLE GARDEN BERBER MUSEUM

3 Mar , 2016  

 

The Berber Museum is located in the former painting studio of Jaques Majorelle, and presents a panorama of the extraordinary creativity of the oldest people in North Africa. A collection of over 600 objects (jewellery, arms, leatherwork, basketry, textiles, and carpets) was sourced throughout Morocco –from the Rif Mountains to the Sahara Desert- and attests to the richness and diversity of an ongoing, vibrant culture.

 

The museum was designed around its collection: sound, music photography and film transport the visitor, opening a door onto the Berber culture of Morocco

 

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Arts,Cities and Countries,History of Africa

DAPPER MUSEUM / MUSEE DAPPER

15 Dec , 2015  

 

Set up in Amsterdam, in 1983, at the instigation of its current President, Michel Leveau, the Olfert Dapper Foundation takes its name from a xviith-century Dutch humanist who, despite never leaving his native country, wrote an encyclopedic description of Africa, first published in 1668.

 

The purpose of this private non-profit organization is to raise the profile of sub-Saharan Africa’s artistic heritage and contribute to its conservation, by staging exhibitions and awarding research bursaries.

 

Director Christiane Falgayrettes-Leveau was on the Musée du quai Branly steering committee from 1999 to the end of 2004 and is a member of the Committee for the Memory of Slavery (CPME), set up on January 5th 2004.

 

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Arts,Cities and Countries

Recontres de Bamako

22 Nov , 2015  

Now in its tenth edition, The Recontres de Bamako biennal was founded to promote African photographic creation. Based in particular in the tradition of portrait photography that developed in Mali in the 1960s. The event provides an excellent springboard for emerging talents, perfectly in step with the international scene.

 

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Arts,Cities and Countries

JAQUES MAJORELLES

16 Nov , 2015  

(1886-1962) Were a French orientalist painter and son of the famous Art Nouveau furniture designer, Louis Majorelle. He arrived in Morocco in 1917, invited by the French Resident-General, Marshal Lyautey. Majorelle was seduced by Marrakesch. In 1923, he decided to live there, purchasing a vast palm grove that would become the Majorelle Garden we know today.

 

In 1980, Pierre Berge and Yves Saint Laurent acquired the Jardin Majorlele, saving it from real estate developers. Since the, the garden has been restored, and many new plants have been added

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Cities and Countries,Our trips,Travel philosophy

ARGUMENTS WHEN ENTERING A NEW CITY

17 Sep , 2015  

A good way of recognising new arrivals to a city is, if you are travelling alone, is a muted anger whereas if you are travelling in company, this takes the form of an open argument.

 

Distrust, doubts, the relative nature of what one takes as read at a few hours’ distance, undermine the bemused and weary traveller’s patience.

 

Perhaps it is in these moments when the journey reveals itself to the traveller.

 

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