Unusual Suspects – Group Show

African Artists' Foundation, Lagos, Nigeria
23 May 2021 - 21 Jun 2021

Motlhoki Nono, Ko Moroane, 2020

Motlhoki Nono, Ko Moroane, 2020

African Artists’ Foundation is excited to present a group exhibition titled Unusual Suspects, opening on the 23rd of May, 2021. Unusual Suspects celebrates the unique visual dialects of 11 contemporary artists and looks for connections between contemporary and precolonial expressions. Image makers from Africa and its diaspora connect through a non-linear timeline that draws inspiration from oral tradition, pre-colonial symbolic heritage, cultural symbols, fashion to twenty-first century’s internet culture and personal iconographies. African artists assemble new and preexisting symbols to translate an ever-changing, multifaceted continent. This enables the realisation of a unique vernacular that conveys a fresh worldview.

Unusual Suspects makes space for contemporary expressions of gender which extends beyond Western twentieth century heteronormative and binary forms. Colonial structures and the introduction of Western religions have played an active role in diminishing previously held notions of gender fluidity. Unusual Suspects is a contemporary reflection on African antediluvian logic and evolves this visual language for the twenty-first century. Outside these confines of feminine and masculine expressions, gender fluid identities are also finding a voice, and expanding our conception of performed identity. Artists make visible that subjects should not be defined by patriarchal gender roles and expectations. These artists use visual art through various modes of storytelling to represent shifting cultural and gender identities.

Unusual Suspects interrogates new expressions of gender and unfurls boundless African cultural identities. These new visual vernaculars encapsulate the historic and contemporary moment to create a language to express the limitless potential of the future. Symbolic interventions disrupt the accepted order of things and challenges the dominance of patriarchy. Unbridled confidence and imagination propels these artists to new soaring heights of self-expression.

Unusual Suspects features the works of Yusuf Aina Abogunde, Damilola Adeniyi, Luke Agada, Talut Kareem, Ayanfe Olarinde, Chinwendu Kelechi, Motlhoki Nono, Kelechi Nwaneri, Michelle Okpare, Mookho Ntho, Muofhe Manavehela

Unusual Suspects is curated by Princess Ayoola and Jana Terblanche.




All content © 2024 Contemporary And. All Rights Reserved. Website by SHIFT