Participating Artists : Viyé Diba (Senegal)
Mohamed Aboulnaga (Egypt)
Sonya Rademeyer (South Africa)
18th March – 1st May 2013
The Mojo Gallery | Dubai
The Mojo Gallery is proud to host three African artists, Viyé Diba (Senegal), Mohamed Abouelnaga (Egypt) and Sonya Rademeyer (South Africa) who will present their work collectively in an exhibition entitled Happening Now. The title holds specific relevance to the daily reality experienced by each of these artists, as well as the particular social reality of the country in which they reside.
Although these artists collectively share Africa as their home, there are considerable and significant differences in the contemporary reality of each artist’s cultural environment. Language, in itself, is clearly a recognisable difference between French, Arabic and English speaking countries on the African continent.
In Rademeyer’s installation Litmus (2013), there are visible associations to political puppetry both in the South African and African landscapes. Through her work, Rademeyer attempts to display the measurability and accountability that ought to be attached to such governments, yet at the same time highlighting ubuntu – or African empathy – which is at the very core of African humanity. Only the presence of another person activates the three video screens in the installation. The imagery of a beating heart therefore only comes into play because of another human being.
Abouelnaga’s work – collectively entitled Cairo 11 – similarly comments on the fusion between ancient Egyptian culture and spirituality in times of social unrest and political violence. Four Trees in Tahrir Square (2012) explores the past relationship between ancient Egyptian revolutionists and the contemporary experience of Tahrir Square in a current, tumultuous Egypt. The association between paper, trees and mythology is recognizable in Abouelnaga’s exploration of making sense of contemporary life in his native Egypt.
Diba reserves his commentary for exploring the phenomena of globalisation, and the impact thereof on the African continent. For Diba, plastic serves as a universal symbol to represent globalisation. By creating a new visual aesthetic, Diba tries to make sense of a system where surplus – which is created by a speeded-up industrial society – continuously impacts on the relationship between object and space. The notion of density, order and disorder which forms part of Diba’s investigation, is clearly recognizable in multimedia paintings such as Envahisseuss 2 (2012), where quantity, multitude and complexity is expressed in the material of choice.
Diba, Abouelnaga, Rademeyer have met on a few occasions over the past few years, both in Senegal and Egypt. During these encounters they have discussed the possibility of showcasing their work together, specifically looking at the diversity of their shared culture within the African continent. Happening Now is an exploration of the diversity and strength of sharing African culture from different perspectives.