Guzo Art Projects, London, United Kingdom 11 Sep 2018 - 16 Sep 2018
Magadi (1), 2017.
Edition of 10. Courtesy the artist and Guzo Art Projects.
Guzo Art Projects is pleased to present, ‘In Between’. The exhibition brings together works by Osborne Macharia, Dennis Muraguri and Ephrem Solomon interrogating the boundaries between fact and fiction, the present and the future; the visible and the invisible in order to reflect upon and present new realities.
Osborne Macharia’s photography draws on culture, fiction and narrative to tell afrofuturist narratives that depict transformation. In Magadi, former female circumcisers living in Lake Magadi, have abandoned their former practice and taken up fashion as an alternative livelihood and tool to equip a younger generation of women.
Dennis Muraguri’s woodcut prints chronicle matatus, the common mode of public transport in Nairobi. He documents their changing facades, viewing them as metaphorical symbols of the economic and socio-political status of society and as machines with a complex relationship with the governments’ attempts at regulation. The artwork on the matatus reflects (personal and collective) preoccupations and future aspirations, political and ideological affiliations, current affairs and popular global culture.
In the Folk Memory series, Ephrem Solomon’s woodcuts highlight the importance of living in the present (and being expectant of the future). He utilizes archival newsprint to reflect on previous political ideologies, providing a potent background for portraits of unidentified individuals to be memorialized. The figures, dressed in black, appear to be in mourning the loss of loved ones and the inevitable passage of time. Made in Africa (2015) reflects on the fraught relationship between power and the people in the 1998-2000 civil war that severed relations between Ethiopia and Eritrea. The archival map featured on the work shows the countries before this took place, echoing the current political restoration taking place between the two countries.
Born in Nairobi, Kenya, Osborne Macharia is a self-taught photographer whose work encapsulates the concept of ‘afrofuturism’; a cultural aesthetic that lies in the intersection of black culture, technology and science fiction. His work is driven by cultural identity and fiction, repurposing the post-colonial African narrative through interrogating the past and the present aspirations of people of colour in order to highlight and present the complexities of identity. His clients have included Disney, Samsung, MTV Base and Forbes. His work has been featured in international publications including Vogue Italia, BBC, i-D and CNN. In 2018, he was commissioned to produce artwork for the London Premiere of Marvel’s Black Panther and served as judge at the Cannes Lion 2018 Festival.
Dennis Muraguri’s multidisciplinary practice utilizes sculpture, painting and printmaking. Based in Nairobi, Kenya, he records ‘matatus’, minibuses, which are the most common form of public transport. He graduated from Buru Buru Institute of Fine Art with a diploma in Painting and Art History. He is a resident artist at Kuona Trust Art Centre. Recent exhibitions include New Works, Circle Art Gallery (2016) and Matatu Games, Kuona Trust (2014).
Ephrem Solomon observes and presents socio-political works using woodcut and mixed media. Views of the city and the people that inhabit the space around him inform his work as does a fictional world that exists beyond the present; a reality that is free from the limitations of anecdotal recordings of his experience. Solomon has exhibited internationally including in Ethiopia, Kenya, Dubai and Australia. In 2014 he had his first solo exhibition in the UK at Tiwani Contemporary, London. His work is in private collections in Dubai, Kenya, South Africa and public collections including the Saatchi Collection (UK) and the National Gallery of Victoria (Australia).
Guzo Art Projects
Founded in Addis Ababa in 2014, Guzo Art Studio was created by artists Wanja Kimani and Ephrem Solomon to provide an active working space and platform for collaboration with artists, galleries and public institutions. In 2018, Guzo Art Projects was launched in order to develop further exchange by commissioning, researching and facilitating exhibitions and events in borrowed spaces.
Guzo Art Projects
508 King’s Road Gallery
London, SW10 0LD