Forum at 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair 2014

Somerset House, London, United Kingdom
16 Oct 2014 - 19 Oct 2014

Forum at 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair 2014

Courtesy: Raw Material Company

Forum, the discursive programme at 1:54, returns to deliver an extensive schedule comprising lectures, artist talks, panel discussions and associated film screenings. Organised by Koyo Kouoh, Artistic Director of Raw Material Company, Dakar, Forum will provide a reflective framework for debate and exchange through a series of focal conversations.

This year, Forum will further expand its aim of promoting discussion around artistic practice in looking to emerging practices being developed across Africa and its diaspora, in regions such as Ghana, South Africa, Kenya and the United States. Retaining its position within the intimate framework of 1:54, Forum will explore new areas of discourse, as a series of thematic conversations ranging topically from the Black Arts Movement of the late 1980s to establishing a canon in the early 1990s.

Participants include artist, writer and filmmaker John Akomfrah in a conversational lecture with artist, curator and co-founder of Blk Art Group Research Project Marlene Smith on the legacy of the Blk Art Group today. Formed by Keith Piper, Marlene Smith, Eddie Chambers and Donald Rodney in the early 1980s, Blk Art Group actively critiqued the crises in inter-communal, race, class and gender relations in the UK.

On the occasion of a retrospective of Rotimi Fani-Kayode’s work at Tiwani Contemporary, the panel discussion ‘Mapping the Trajectory of Rotimi Fani-Kayode’s Work’ will be introduced by curator and art critic Christine Eyene, and include discussants Renée Mussai, Curator and Head of Archive Autograph ABP and Maria Varnava, Director of Tiwani Contemporary, offering further insight to the work of this pioneering artist.

Simon Njami, writer, curator and co-founder of the seminal magazine Revue Noire will discuss contextualisation of contemporary African art and the establishment of a canon with artists Sokari Douglas Camp, Romuald Hazoumè and Abdoulaye Konaté.

The 2014 programme will give particular attention to artist talks, shedding light onto both individual and collaborative practices. Koyo Kouoh will be speaking to artists Miriam Syowia Kyambi and James Muriuki, highlighting their collaborative practice and the shared address of issues investigated in contemporary activity.

Later in the week, independent writer and curator Osei Bonsu will be in conversation with artist Ibrahim Mahama, and Christine Eyene will discuss with artists Billie Zangewa and Marcia Kure the significance of texture, forms and fabrics within their respective art practices. Curator Elvira Dyangani Ose will also be in conversation with artist Sammy Baloji.

See the full programme here


Accompanying Forum will be a daily screening of contemporary artist films and videos, between 12.00 and 13.00 each day. Selected artists include Otobong Nkanga, Ato Malinda, Athi-Patra Ruga, Fayçal Baghriche, Amina Menia and Meschac Gaba.

Entry is included within fair admission tickets, however seat reservations must be made via eventbrite here
You will be asked to produce your fair ticket for all Forum events. Seating is limited and in order to allow a fair service, please only book the events in which you can confirm your attendance.

Forum takes place onsite at Somerset House in the Screening Room. The room is located just off the Great Arch Lobby, by the Embankment entrance. From the courtyard, enter Seamen’s Hall (South Wing) and take a left onto the East Wing corridor. Access can be obtained by the lift to the L2 floor, or the adjacent stairs. 1:54 floor arrows will also be in place to direct.


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