The exhibtion Africa Reframed
The first edition of the traveling and modular exhibition Africa Reframed opened June 2016 in Copenhagen. A unique exhibition design within the 5000m2 large space of Øksenhallen was developed specifically for the exhibition. For the first time in Scandinavia, visitors could experience a select group of artists, contributing to a worldwide fascination with contemporary African photography. A small selection of the participating photographers, designers and filmmakers are presented below.
Omar Victor Diop
Omar Victor Diop was born in Dakar in 1980. Since his early days, Omar Victor Diop developed an interest for Photography and Design, essentially as a means to capture the diversity of modern African societies and lifestyles. The quick success of his first conceptual project Fashion 2112, le Futur du Beau which was featured at the Pan African Exhibition of the African Biennale of Photography of 2011 in Bamako (Rencontres de Bamako) encouraged him to end his career in Corporate Communications to dedicate to photography in 2012.
His latest series entitled Diaspora is a time travel. A journey that takes its starting point in the present with the issue of immigration of African in Europe and their place in European society. Diop forces us to reconsider our perception of history by highlighting notable Africans living in Europe between the fifteenth and nineteenth century. The integration of elements of football, weaves the links between past and present and question the position of African today.
The series Diaspora. Omar Victor Diop / Courtesy MAGNIN-A, Paris
I enjoy using my photography to explore the relationship between human beings and the environment, and so this has been a recurring theme in my photographic projects from the last seven years. My work has often isolated and emphasised specific features of a particular landscape, from suburban areas to more desolate rural scenes – usually elements that illustrate how we engage both deliberately and unintentionally with the world around us. Roughly two years ago, I took this one step further by introducing computer generated imagery into my photographs in an attempt to reveal underlying features or dynamics I wouldn’t be able to show with photography alone.
For What It’s Worth was born out of my own curiosity about what a mine’s output in precious metals or stones would look like when visually juxtaposed with the mine itself. I started by exploring the copper mines of Namaqualand and the series soon grew to include diamond mines in the Northern Cape as well. More recently I’ve looked at the gold fields of the Witwatersrand Basin and the production of platinum group metals on a national scale. Apart from satisfying my own curiosity, For What It’s Worth is very much about providing a unique perspective on an industry that has played such a large part in South African history. As much as these efforts have shaped development, they have also come with social and environmental costs. My intention is not to take a particular position on the matter, but to prompt viewers to come to their own conclusions.
From the series For What It’s Worth. Courtesy Dillon Marsh / Gallery MOMO
Namsa Leuba’s diverse photographic practice examines the representation of African identity through the Western imagination. Spanning documentary, fashion and performance, Namsa Leuba creates a visual imaginary that explores the signs and symbols of her cultural heritage, from rituals and ceremonies to statuettes and masquerades. Whether executed on location in the artist’s ancestral hometown of Guinea or in the constructed studio environment, Leuba’s projects combine an anthropological interest in traditional customs with an aesthetic that is informed by fashion and design sensibilities. Adopting a theatrical approach with careful attention to props, colors and gestures, Namsa Leuba questions the relationship between fact and fiction, action and representation, and the sacred and the profane.
From the series Kingdom Of Mountain. Courtesy Namsa Leuba
Fabrice Monteiro is an emerging artist based in the fields of photojournalism, fashion photography, and portraiture. Born to a Beninese father and a Belgian mother, his childhood is nurtured with multi-cultural. His unique signature style revolves around his passion and love for the heart and the people of his country. Monteiro was not predicted to become a photographer. In 2007, he meets the New York photographer Alfonse Pagano, who quickly becomes his friend and mentor. Assumed its creative force, he is striving to build a visual world in his own multicultural image, mastering the aesthetics that allows his images to carry the weight of traditions and modernity.
From the series The Prophecy. Courtesy Fabrice Monteiro / Mariane Ibrahim Gallery
Every piece is very different. All have their own personality and character. Each piece has a story to tell. (Yinka Ilori on his work at anotherafrica.net) As many other young Africans and expats Yinka Ilori didn’t choose a life as a doctor or an engineer, as his parents wished for. Instead he chose the creative path where African traditions are mixed with contemporary design and language. Yinka Ilori specializes in up-cycling vintage furniture, inspired by the traditional Nigerian parables and African fabrics. His unique and vibrant work sits between traditional divisions of art and design.
Iloris design debates consumerism when he transforms vintage furniture to new and colorful life by combining elements from different chairs and adding other objects, textiles and colors. At the same time his works expresses the multiculturalism in his hometown, London, and in the overall African inspired creative and dynamic flow, AFRICA REFRAMED like to capture in moments.
Every single chair from Ilori is inspired of and conveys the Nigerian parables which were part of his childhood home. Actually, one of his recent shows was named If Chairs Could Talk. Ilori use the narratives of the parables with a declared political aim to create works that makes the observer reflect on issues such as hope, sexuality and social classes.
Yinka Ilori studied Furniture and Product Design at London Metropolitan University and has since exhibited internationally in solo shows and group exhibitions in London, Lagos, Stockholm, Basel, Bilbao and New York.