With every edition of 1-54, the fair aims to promote the best talent from all over the world both in the exhibited galleries and in 1-54’s non-profit section of the Special Projects.
This year, the Special Projects encompass a wide variety of media and touch upon extremely timely ideas, social issues and contemporary discourses. Hoping to bring faceted and fresh perspectives on art and culture, the selection of projects will showcase the work of a diverse array of artists from Africa and its diaspora.
Main Image credit: Ralph Ziman, SPOEK 1 at Iziko National Gallery, Cape Town (2016). Courtesy Sulger-Buel Lovell
1-54 Lounge Commission
New Davonhaime by Azikiwe Mohammed
Presented in partnership with Pioneer Works. As an extension of the New Davonhaime project, Azikiwe Mohammed will be installing the first iteration of an outdoor-themed New Davonhaime space for this year’s 1-54 Lounge. New Davonhaime is an imaginary town-cum-safe space, named after a linguistic amalgamation of the five American cities with the highest density of African-American residents, and its previous iterations have been exhibited throughout the US.
Presented in partnership with Pioneer Works. Working with figurative and portrait styled imagery, Lewis creates sculpted paper photo works that highlight bodies and the unseen tensions of the past, present and future that are inflicted upon them. These images utilize diagnostic lenses and contrast dyes in order to reveal erased and unknown histories, and toggle the lines between presence and absence, as well as distortion and illusion. He aims to challenge our lenses and the powers that hold our attention, with the intention of creating opportunities for questioning and perspective alteration during a time wherein our information feeds.
I Need to Believe The World is Still Beautiful
This installation is part of a body of work in which Boswell is concerned with celebrating and giving agency to the female nude, de-centering the dominant white male gaze, and saluting women who use their bodies when they haven’t been permitted to use their voices.
Ralph Ziman, The Casspir Project
Ralph Ziman has reclaimed a Casspir armored vehicle for his work, SPOEK 1. For his installation, Ziman has covered the surface of the Casspir with elaborate, brightly-colored panels of glass beads. arrayed in traditional patterns made by artisans from Zimbabwe and the Mpumalanga province of South Africa.
Red Hook Labs & Nataal
New African Photography III
Red Hook Labs and Nataal present New African Photography III, their third annual exhibition on the occasion of 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair featuring emerging and established photographers and filmmakers whose work engages with contemporary Africa. This year’s show focuses entirely on young female voices from Africa and its diaspora. From a range of fresh perspectives come works that seek present afro-positive narratives and address a diverse set of concerns relating to representation, gender and identity.
Retro Africa and VAN Lagos present
Juomke Sawno’s Lagos at Large and Home
Lagos at Large is a virtual reality project by artist Jumoke Sanwo, relating a simple story of abandonment told in nine different ways. Home is a 360-degree anthology documentary-art film, commissioned by Retro Africa and VAN Lagos, part of a wider series of virtual reality works by Karli-Jade Fontiverio-Hylton and Bosola Ajenifuja.
The Project Space, Young Female Residency
The Young Female Residency Award presented by The Project Space is an annual award dedicated to young female artists on the African continent. Decadently Damaged features the 2017 recipient Alka Dass (South Africa) and finalist Stacey Gillian Abe (Uganda).
Curated by Omar Berrarda. This year’s speakers include Derrick Adams, Sophia Azeb, Leilah Babirye, Hatim Belyamani, Phoebe Boswell, Aruna D’Souza, Emmanuel Iduma, NIC Kay, Lawrence Lemaoana, Joiri Minaya, Elaine Mokhtefi, Nontsikelelo Mutiti, Nkiru Nzegwu, Remi Onabanjo, Jay Pather, Zina Saro-Wiwa, and Moses Serubiri. Full programme to be announced shortly!