GRIOT Guide To The Venice Biennale | African Pavilions

Returning a year later than planned due to the ongoing pandemic, the 59th edition of the International Art Exhibition in Venice runs from 23rd April to 27th November 2022. More than 200 artists will participate under the theme The Milk of Dreams, directed by Italian curator Cecilia Alemani.

by Anna Milano Brandalise - Published on 15/04/2022
Wanja Kimani, Borrowed Intimacy II, 2016. Kimani is one of the artists to represent Kenya at the 59th Venice Biennale

CAMEROONThe Time of the Chimeras

Curators: Paul Emmanuel Loga Mahop, Sandro Orlandi Stagl
Artists: Global Crypto Art DAO
Location: Liceo Artistico Guggenheim, Dorsoduro 2613; and Palazzo Ca’ Bernardo Molon, San Polo 2186

Cameroon inaugurates its first participation at the Venice Biennale with the first exhibition of NFT (non fungible token) works ever presented at the International Exposition. The project is signed by the Global Crypto Art DAO collective.

IVORY COAST – The dreams of a story

Curators: Massimo Scaringella, Alessandro Romanini
Artists: Frédéric Bruly Bouabré, Abdoulaye Diarrassouba dit Aboudia, Armand Boua, Saint-Etienne Yéanzi dit Yeanzi, Laetitia Ky, Aron Demetz
Location: Magazzino del Sale 3, Dorsoduro 264,

EGYPT – Eden-Like Garden

Curator: Mohamed Shoukry
Artists: Mohamed Shoukry, Weaam El Masry, Ahmed El Shaer
Location: Giardini

Egypt will be represented by Weam El Masryartista (who works with painting, photography and animation), Mohamed Shoukry (visual artist and video-sculpture expert) and Ahmed El Shaer (multidisciplinary artist, mainly oriented towards digital technologies).

GHANABlack Star – The Museum as Freedom

Curator: Nana Oforiatta Ayim
Artists: Na Chainkua Reindorf, Diego Araúja, Afroscope
Location: Arsenale

The title of the Ghana exhibition—Black Star—refers to the star of the Ghanaian flag, a symbol of Pan-Africanism, anti-colonialism and African freedom. The installations were conceived as an extension of these concepts: Na Chainkua Reindorf invents the mythology of a female secret society, Afroscope brings a work that explores the elements through technology, while Diego Araùja’s work explores the role of Atlantic Ocean in dividing and uniting Africa and its diaspora.

KENYAExercises in Conversation

Curator: Jimmy Ogonga;
Artists: Dickens Otieno, Syowia Kyambi, Kaloki Nyamai, Wanja Kimani
Location: Fàbrica 33, Cannaregio 5063

NAMIBIA – A Bridge to the Desert (WITHDRAWN)

Curator: Marco Furio Ferrario
Artist: RENN
Location: Isola della Certosa

The National Pavilion of Namibia has announced its debut in Venice with A Bridge to the Desert, a work of Land Art – a series of sculptures made of iron and desert stones.

SOUTH AFRICA – Into the Light

Curator: Amé Bell
Artists: Roger Ballen, Lebohang Kganye, Phumulani Ntuli
Location: Arsenale

The South African installation is a collaborative effort between Lebohang Kganye, Roger Ballen and Phumulani Ntuli. Into the light is the result of their introspective journey of self-discovery and exploration of different artistic possibilities. Lebohang Kganye, visual artist from Johannesburg, with the photographic work B (l) ack to Fairy Tales re-elaborates Western fairy tales setting them in the township where she lived as a child and becoming the protagonist herself. Roger Ballen participates with The Theater of the Apparitions, a “theater” of works inspired by the engravings made by inmates in South Africa to darken the windows of the cells. Godide by Phumulani Ntuli is a stop-motion animation work in which he addresses the themes of identity, cultural association and places of belonging.

UGANDARadiance: They dream In Time

Curator: Shaheen Merali
Artists: Acaye Kerunen, Collin Sekajugo
Location: Palazzo Palumbo Fossati, San Marco 2597

This is the inaugural participation of Uganda the Biennale. The installation by Acaye Kerunen and Collin Sekajugo aims to convey the value of the semantic intelligence of Africa and Uganda specifically, through the knowledge of its technological modernity and at the same time its traditions. Acaye Kerunen in her artistic practice celebrates the work of Ugandan artisans, deconstructing and re-semantizing their materials and work. Collin Sekajugo instead works on the archives to create almost theatrical works that speak of colonialism, prejudice and privilege.

ZIMBABWEI did not leave a sign

Curator: Fadzai Veronica Muchemwa
Artists: Wallen Mapondera, Ronald Muchatuta, Kresiah Mukwazhi, Terrence Musekiwa
Location: Santa Maria della Pietà, Calle della Pietà

As stated by Fadzai Veronica Muchemwa, researcher and curator of the Zimbabwe pavilion, the exhibition I did not leave a sign will deal with various issues related to Zimbabwe and its history: among these migration and the invisible threats that govern the state.

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Anna Milano Brandalise
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Lareanda in Storia e Critica dell’Arte. Sono creativa e perfezionista. Mi piacciono l’arte contemporanea, i fiori e il bricolage.