ARoS presents This Is Not Africa – Unlearn What You Have Learned is a group exhibition featuring a wide range of works created by 26 leading contemporary artists from or related to the African continent.
This Is Not Africa – Unlearn What You Have Learned is intended as a project for promoting greater self-insight by focusing on art and the artists’ own voices. In terms of subject matter the exhibition is one of a wide scope, involving both conflict-ridden, social and political conditions related to the continent’s past, present and future and more universal themes reaching far beyond Africa’s borders, e.g. by touching on issues of power and language, the colonial era and today’s global capitalism, structural racism and counter-narratives. As the title indicates, the works in the exhibition challenge a stereotypical and traditional Western view of Africanness. The works include video, installation, painting, sculpture, photography and performance art.
From Denmark to Ghana
This Is Not Africa – Unlearn What You Have Learned is also an art exchange project realized in collaboration with the exhibition’s guest curators, Ibrahim Mahama and Selom Kudjie. The collaboration has resulted in a number of exhibitions at The Savannah Center for Contemporary Art (SCCA), Red Clay and Nkrumah Voli in the north Ghanaian city of Tamale, where audiences can experience art from ARoS’ collection from April to October 2021; including works by Jesper Just, Olafur Eliasson, Hanne & Birgit, Cyprien Gaillard, Tracey Moffatt, Annika von Hausswolff, Nicolai Howalt & Trine Søndergaard, Doddà Maggy and Henrik Saxgren.
It is a good initiative and certainly one that needs to be expanded upon across institutions globally. It is important for young institutions like ours because it gives us the opportunity to learn certain practices, but it also allows us to share knowledge on different art forms, says Ibrahim Mahama, artist and founder of SCCA, Tamale, Ghana.
The exhibition is curated by Erlend G. Høyersten, museum director, ARoS, Maria Kappel Blegvad, curator, ARoS, Ibrahim Mahama, artist and founder of the SCCA, Tamale, Ghana and Selom Kudjie, artistic director, SCCA, Tamale.
Participating artists: Aaiún Nin , Athi-Patra Ruga , Barthélémy Toguo , Bernard Akoi-Jackson , Billie Zangewa , Bolatito Aderemi-Ibitola , Bronwyn Katz , Candice Breitz , Dan Halter , Euridice Getulio Kala , Grada Kilomba , Jeannette Ehlers & La Vaughn Belle , Kapwani Kiwanga , Kelvin Haizel , Meschac Gaba , Moffat Takadiwa , Nástio Mosquito , Njideka Akunyili Crosby , Nolan Oswald Dennis , Robel Temesgen , Sammy Baloji , Sethembile Msezane , Tabita Rezaire , Tracy Naa Koshie Thompson , Zanele Muholi