if you love me…
(The First KNUST MFA Curating show)
Loco Shed, Kumasi Railway, Kumasi, Ghana
3:00pm, Friday, 15 Apr 2016 - 05 May 2016
This exhibition is a collaborative effort of railway workers, occupants, engineers, artists, and students of KNUST.
The idea is to take on the space of the Kumasi Loco Shed as a living organism, a structure with a vital life of its own. The independently staged exhibition presents work born out of freedom of thought and practice, steered by attitudes of subtle resistance, activated by suggestions of renewal. The project aims to penetrate the site like a bacteriophage on a host cell, quietly attaching to the cell’s DNA and reproducing, until the space has been regenerated.
With Kumasi as its nucleus, the project flows out to other locations along the tracks, from Takoradi to Accra, mapping a trajectory of the railway system. Presenting work by 30 artists and numerous collaborators, if you love me… meditates not only on human love, but that of plants, winds, germs, machines; not only on romantic love, but also toxic, consuming, possibly fatal passion. The pharmakon, both poison and cure, can be the Agent Smith that replicates itself onto subsumed subjects, or the kenosis that empties out the disease. Dangerous, seductive, formless, it floats in free play, disappears into itself, and ever eludes grasp or possession.
The exhibition follows two major shows by KNUST’s Department of Painting and Sculpture last year — one at a repurposed car showroom in Kumasi (Silence between the Lines), another at the National Museum of Science and Technology in Accra (the Gown must go to Town), as well as the launch of blaxTARLINES KUMASI, the Department’s project space for contemporary art. if you love me… resonates with strategies of “ironic overidentification” as proposed by KNUST art teacher kąrî’kạchä seid’ou — inserting oneself within the site of critique, in order to transform that subject. In this interdisciplinary and intergenerational project, a host of familiar faces and other new ones join together in a labour of love that transcends institutional, intellectual, and categorical lines, toward a more Consciencious future.
Accra Train Station (Nii Noi Nortey, Nii Otoo Annan, J. C. Abbey); Timothy Affram; Akwasi Bediako Afrane; Rex Akinruntan; Bernard Akoi-Jackson; Dorothy Amenuke; Francis Anim Sakyi; Lois Selasie Arde-Acquah; Lolo Atanley; Lawrence Baganiah; Geoffrey Akpene Biekro (Captain’s Kitchen); Edwin Bodjawah; Yaw Brobbey Kyei; Eugene Edzorho; Va-Bene Elikem Fiatsi (crazinisT artisT); Kelvin Haizel; Ella Kankam; Adjo Kisser; Eric Okwei Nii Noye; Caterina Niklaus; Elvis Nsiah; Legon Pr3k3s3 (School of Performing Arts, Legon); Emmanuel Opoku Manu; Yaw Owusu; Deryk Owusu Bempah; Afia Prempeh; Stephen Smart Sippah; Kwaku Tabiri
Co-Curators: Robin Riskin, Selom Kudjie, Patrick Nii Okanta Ankrah
Advisors: kąrî’kạchä seid’ou, Kwaku Boafo Kissiedu, George Ampratwum
Support: Edwin Bodjawah, Ibrahim Mahama, Caterina Niklaus, Stephen Smart Sippah Takoradi
Coordinators: Eugene Edzorho, Rex Akinruntan
Partner Institutions: blaxTARLINES KUMASI Department of Painting and Sculpture, KNUST Ghana Railway Company Ltd. Ghana Railway Workers Union
Supporting Institutions: Ghana Museums and Monuments Board, Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly, Ghana National Fire Service, Western Regional Library, DDP Outdoor Ltd.
Since 2011 the Chale Wote festival has gained both local and international recognition as a grand public event. It brings together all forms of arts from traditional to contemporary through a singular installation piece as a street festival, inviting many participants from Ghana and abroad. A theme is chosen every year as a subject to be explored.
Chale Wote ran for one day in the first two editions and later for two days in 2013 and 2014. This year, the event has been scheduled for four days: the first two will be dedicated to film screenings followed by the weekend during which street painting, graffiti murals, photography, theatre, spoken word, interactive art installations, live street performances, extreme sports, film shows, a fashion parade, a music block party, recyclable design workshops will take place.
African Electronics as a theme for the 5th edition explores many possibilities of the human mind and the body through the flow of our collective currents and energy explosions.
On the 22nd of August, crazinisT artisT and Natascia Silverio will put together a performance installation entitled ‘pieta-afriCan resurrect’ in front of the Bible House, opposite the James Fort Prison.
Their performance questions our disabled mind and the dependent throne of governance in many African nations. The human body is the most powerful natural technology powered by the brain. However, all its energy can only be a waste when this brain is deactivated. The performance appropriates the structural form of the Pieta from renaissance sculpture of Michelangelo to explore the death of African possibilities. Africa is never dead, it is only in a deactivated mode, full of inferiority complexities and disbelief of self-empowerment.
Fifty eight years since independence Ghana can hardly boast of managing their own resources to produce a meaningful economy. The Ghanaian economic crises keeps moving towards the a state of death trap and gradually creating a wider gap between our independency and capabilities as a state and individuals. The economic crises of Ghana is a still Death buried into many political games of honour and fun of celebrity.
The Chale Wote festival has also served as a research platform not only for artists but also for many other scholars. In this year's performance, Natascia Silverio and crazinisT artisT will realize a critical study to visual anthropology. The research will be focused on the relationship between art and its relevance to the sociopolitical or economic reflection of the African states. In other words, it will question how the immediate audience perceive contemporary art as part of their everyday life.
Through open and semi-structured interviews, the two performers will engage with the public, questioning them about the theme of the performance. The expected outcome is the production of a podcast which will be disseminated in Fall/Winter 2015 by the Cologne University Radio.
The audience will be requested to answer the following questions:
-what are African possibilities?
-how would you explain African Technology?
-is Ghana still dependent on external powers?
Follow the performance of crazinisT artisT and Natascia Silverio on Instagram #afriCanresurrect
upload your photos of the event and tell us what you think!
12pm Saturday, 22nd August 2015
Jamestown, Accra, Ghana
Click the links below for detail information on the festival: