El Hadji Sy, Disso-Concertation, 2016 [Image: Fundação Sindika Dokolo]
What do Kassel, Germany; Athens, Greece; and Luanda, Angola have in common? Well, all three are home to some of the major players in the global art world, and with the help of a partnership between Fundação Sindika Dokolo and documenta 14, these three cities will be linked through a “unique multidisciplinary art platform.”
iQhiya, The Portrait, 2016 [Image: Fundação Sindika Dokolo]
The partnership began this year with Fundação Sindika Dokolo
supporting 16 artists of African-descent who are showing during the annual documenta 14
, an international exhibition in Kassel (its traditional home) and Athens from April 8 to September 17, 2017. The mission of Fundação Sindika Dokolo, which was founded by Congo-born businessman and “art whisperer” Sindika Dokolo
in Luanda in 2006 after creating the Sindika Dokolo African Collection of Contemporary Art
, is to “support the development of African culture while exposing contemporary art in Africa to Angolans and to the rest of the continent and beyond.”
Olu Oguibe, Biafra Time Capsule, 2017 [Image: Fundação Sindika Dokolo]
One of the participating artists, Olu Oguibe
, recently won
the Arnold Bode Prize for Das Fremdlinge und Flüchtlinge Monument (Monument for Strangers and Refugees)
, an obelisk inscribed with words from the Book of Matthew written in Turkish; Arabic; German; and English, during the Kassel exhibit. In addition, Oguibe also received the accolade for The Biafra Time Capsule
, an installation that addresses the human tragedy of the Biafra War, which is on view in both Kassel and Athens.However, this partnership doesn’t end with the conclusion of documenta 14. Once the exhibition has concluded, Artistic Director Adam Szymczyk and Curator at Large Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung will bring all 16 artists together for another exhibit that will travel to Luanda. The works will be the same as those presented at documenta 14, but will be “re-shaped within the local framework of the city,” according to a press release. A multiple of new “visual practitioners” from Africa and the Diaspora will join the 16 artists for the showing in Angola.
Dokolo explained why the partnership between documenta 14 and Fundação Sindika Dokolo is important, in a press release, “The last decade or so has seen the increased prominence of artists from Africa exhibiting across the contemporary artistic platform in the West. I am delighted to help in initiating this opportunity of showing the African artists being exhibited in documenta 14 for the first time on the continent. This unique exhibition comes at a timely moment in which we can showcase and celebrate a collection of [immense] and diverse African talent. It is a critical concern of mine that the people of Angola — and of Africa — have access to contemporary cultural discourse, as well as being able to see and discover the artistic production of multiple voices from the continent and diaspora.”documenta 14 and Fundação Sindika Dokolo will announce detailed plans of the Luanda exhibition and conference in the coming months.