Àsìkò Art School Addis Ababa

Meles Zenawi Foundation, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
27 Jun 2016 - 30 Jul 2016

Àsìkò Art School Addis Ababa

CCA, Lagos presents the 6th and final edition—in this format—of its international pedagogical and curatorial programme, Àsìkò. Begun in 2010 out of the need to build infrastructure—physical and intellectual—it provides support locally, regionally and continentally in a framework that explores and advances the critical methodologies and histories that underpin artistic and curatorial practice.

Using the format of part art laboratory, part residency and part informal art academy, over the course of 35 intensive days Àsìkò, 2016 Addis Ababa has focused on technique and methodology, critical thinking, and the aesthetic implementation of conceptual ideas.

After two very successful programmes in Lagos, On Independence and The Ambivalence of Promise (2010) and History/Materiality in 2012, for the first time the initiative took on an itinerant format to engage Anglophone, Francophone and Lusophone Africa: Accra, Ghana in 2013, Dakar, Senegal in 2014 and Maputo, Mozambique in 2015.

In 2016, the programme continues its itinerancy by moving to the horn of Africa for the first time to engage with North Eastern Africa and particulary with the history and culture of the only country on the continent that has not been colonised, Ethiopia, of which the capital Addis Ababa is the seat of the African Union. Indeed this has provided an appropriate setting to continue our deliberations for the 6th and final edition of Àsìkò

Through an open discursive model that allows for “play and chance” where the individual perspectives and research interests of both the participants and the faculty are highlighted, Àsìkò continues to focus on and explore the themes and issues that have been addressed over the past five years including: colonial history and postcolonial reality, decolonial theory, identity, “Africanness” and pan-Africanism, materiality and technology, the archival, locality vs. globalism, the body and sexuality amongst others. Our point of departure continues to be African and African Diaspora cultural production and thought, as well as examining their shifts and developments in recent years and their place within a global context.

Within the curatorial segment we have felt the need to excavate exhibition histories in Africa in order to complement what art history exists today. African exhibition histories and art history continues to pose a challenge and compromise an urgent necessity in view of the many elder artists and practitioners that we continue to lose undocumented. The two segments of Àsìkò—the artistic and the curatorial—address the various aesthetic and contextual strategies deployed by artists working across a multiplicity of media and to engage with curators and writers on the strategies and formats as well the critical discourses that emanate from the local in dialogue with the cosmopolitan.

Àsìkò is led by a distinguished visiting faculty of artists, curators, writers and academics including Stephanie Baptist (USA), Natasha Becker (South Africa), Eddie Chambers (UK), Lucrezia Cippetilli (Italy), Teju Cole (Nigeria), Adrienne N. Edwards (USA), Tamar Garb (South Africa), Raimi Gbadamoisi (UK), Elizabeth Giorgis (Ethiopia), Marianne Hultman (Sweden), Desta Meghoo (Jamaica), Bekele Mekonnen (Ethiopia) Nontsikeleko Mutiti (Zimbabwe), Nontobeko Ntombela (South Africa), Christian Nyampeta (Rwanda), Moyo Okediji (US/Nigeria), Raqs Media Collective (India) (Jeebesh Bagchir and Shuddha Sengupta), Moses Serubiri (Uganda), Sandra Shakespeare (UK), Andrea Stultiens (Netherlands), Merid Tafese (Ethiopia), and Zoe Whitley (USA). Also invited are emerging artists presenting their work including Elsa M’Bala (Cameroon), Aron Simeneh (Ethiopia), and Mekbib Tadesse (Ethiopia).

As part of the 35 day programme, the participating artists and curators will present their final exhibition project Here and here which engages their experience of Addis Ababa, in relation to the realities from across the continent. The title also signifies experiences, discussions, interactions that emanate from different spaces—including the ten African countries of the participants—and across time through their engagement with over 3000 years of Ethiopian history to the present. In so doing they ask questions around issues such as identity, language, borders and boundaries, religion and spirituality, as well as commonality and collectivity. In addition, the one-day symposium takes the six editions of Àsìkò as the point of departure to provide a discursive platform that engages “The Future of Art and Curatorial Education in Africa.”

The artists are: Ayorinde Akinwande (Nigeria), Jessica Atieno (Kenya), Ruth A. Belete (Ethiopia), Serah Chibombwe (Zambia), Kibrom Gebremedhin (Ethiopia), Eyob Kitaba (Ethiopia), Nyakello Maleke (South Africa), Mercy Moyo (Zimbabwe), Madiaw N’diaye (Senegal), Onyango Martin Oginga (Kenya), Crista Uwase (Rwanda) and Papa Shabani (Uganda)

The curators are: Martha Kazungu (Uganda), Mifta Zeleke (Ethiopia), Yves Makongo (Cameroon), and Ange Tchemi (Cameroon)

Asiko 2016 Addis Ababa has been conceived and developed by the Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos.

Project Curator: Bisi Silva

Project Co-ordinators: Erin M. Rice and Fitsum Shebeshe

CCA Lagos gratefully acknowledges the financial support and partnership of Meles Zenawi Foundation, Modern Art Museum, Gebre Kristos Desta Centre, Addis Ababa University, College of Performing and Visual Art, Addis Ababa University, Asni Gallery, Addis Ababa, Tate Modern,London, National Arts Council, Zambia, Office of Contemporary Art, Oslo, Norway as well as individuals including Azeb Mesfine, Elizabeth Giorgis, Bekele Mekonnen, Desta Meghoo and Konjit Seyoum.


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