Jojo Abdallah: Psy-Technology

National Museum, Accra, Ghana
29 Jun 2024 - 28 Jul 2024

JOJO ABDALLAH. Wulcmei Drama Group. c. 2020. Acrylic and marker on card in wooden frame. 29 x 29 in. Compound House Gallery

JOJO ABDALLAH. Wulcmei Drama Group. c. 2020. Acrylic and marker on card in wooden frame. 29 x 29 in. Compound House Gallery

Compound House Gallery presents the exhibition JOJO ABDALLAH: PSY-TECH, a solo show curated by Robin Riskin that explores the intersection between psychology, technology, and art. The expression Psy-Technology is borrowed from Abdallah’s hand-painted signboard for the Occupation Therapy Department where he keeps his studio at the Accra Psychiatric Hospital in Adabraka. For the occasion of the exhibition, Abdallah’s recent and archival works in painting and mixed media are presented at the Ghana National Museum in Accra and mediated by a loose community of curatorial griots.

Abdallah’s scenes of Ghanaian cultural, political, and spiritual life act as the point of departure for how to collectively narrate content at the intersection of history and fantasy. His paintings of psychiatric hospitals, ceremonial traditions, natural sciences, and syncretic spiritualities render actual peoples, places, and practices through fictional and frictional combinations. The collection of fantasy history paintings tells stories of nation-building; tradition-keeping; growth and believing; hope, horror, and healing. The idea of art pervades Abdallah’s communal and cosmic worlds: doctors are artists, plumbers are artists, and sites of trade and travel are dedicated to crafts, culture, and cuisine.

Schizophonic curating content reflects the artist’s split, mingled, and mashed approach to image-making, which reflects the condition of contemporary visual and sonic media. Voices and visions of artists, writers, doctors, and designers who engaged with Abdallah’s work over the past months and years are interwoven as acoustic and textual tapestries, which hold together multiple truths on Abdallah’s practice. The curatorial intent of JOJO ABDALLAH: PSY-TECH is to re-centre alternative psychological states and to de-centre constraints of social normalcy. How could Abdallah’s clinical condition challenge expectations for curatorial knowingness? How could Abdallah’s art illuminate the spectrum of individual realities? Could museums travel beyond the bounds of established conventions and bring back polyrhythmic tools from liminal galaxies?

JOJO ABDALLAH: PSY-TECH is curated by Robin Riskin and produced by Compound House Gallery, in collaboration with the Ghana Museums and Monuments Board and the Accra Psychiatric Hospital. Kpanlogo musical therapy sessions will be held by Nii Noi Nortey and the MUZIKI band, with psychological resources and support from the Ghana Mental Health Authority. The Holy Spirit Cathedral, blaxTARLINES KUMASI, and Robin Beth Inc. serve as interstellar supporters.




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