West Africa to Take Center-Stage at Art Dubai 2013

West Africa to Take Center-Stage at Art Dubai 2013
Taiye Idahor, Head Series (No 6)

SINGAPORE – Art from West Africa will take center-stage at Art Dubai 2013, with a set of curated concept stands dedicated to the region under the fair’s Marker program.

“Given the historical and rapidly growing contemporary links between the Gulf and African cities, our links with the arts communities of North Africa, plus the internationalism of the UAE arts scene, we feel that there is a great deal of mutual interest,” said Art Dubai fair director Antonia Carver in a press statement. “By highlighting the work of organizations and artists from West Africa, we aim to not just generate more awareness but also call for increasing interaction and synergies between Africa and the Middle East in the cultural field.”

The Marker program is curated this year by Bisi Silva, Lagos-based independent curator and founder of the city’s Center for Contemporary Art, who will use the work of upcoming and established artists to explore the nature of evolving cities in West Africa and the way in which the changes in these cities impact society.

“The theme allows each contributor to approach it from a local context. At the same time, visitors to the fair will discover several common threads that link the works — the vibrant dynamics of the cities as well as the tensions that arise when the modern collides with the traditional, the urban displaces the rural, and the boundaries between the public and private become blurred,” Silva stated.

Silva has selected five art centers to present works for their nominated city’s exhibition space at Art Dubai: Espace doual'art (Douala, Cameroon); Maison Carpe Diem (Segou, Mali); Nubuke Foundation (Accra, Ghana); Raw Material Company (Dakar, Senegal); and Centre for Contemporary Art (Lagos, Nigeria).

Working together with the curator and the fair organizers, each art groups will present recent works by artists such as Soly Cisse (Senegal) Ablade Glover (Ghana), Abdoulaye Konate (Mali), Boris Nzebo (Cameroon) and Taiye Idahor (Nigeria).

Art Dubai will take place March 20-23, 2013, at Madinat Jumeirah.