Primae Noctis Gallery, Lugano
Primae Noctis will spotlight five artists from the African continent (Congo, Madagascar, Mali, Morocco, Nigeria) whose practice is deeply rooted in their local tradition, making use of materials and visual sources highly representative of their home countries. Politics and environmental issues intersects in the artists' practice, revealing a slice of society that yearns for turning their contradictions into a cultural asset.
Abdoulaye Konaté brings together delicately cut and sewn layered fringes of dyed cloth to create beautiful, simple compositions. The medium – soft to the touch and assembled with such care – is at odds with the brutal subject matter of the work, but the contrast lends it even more power.
Using new cotton cloth or second-hand fabric, Joël Andrianomeariosa tells unacknowledged or forgotten histories. His work allows us to understand that if we embrace the complexity and beauty of our gleaming shadow selves, if we have the courage to develop a relationship with all that seems unlovable within us, we may learn to relish the conversations that result from acceptance.
Ifeoma U. Anyaeji developed a style of upcycling as an eco-aesthetic process where she transforms her new primary medium, discarded non-biodegradable plastic bags, using her crafting skills in a receding traditional Nigerian hair plaiting technique called Threading.
For Vitshois Mwilambwe Bondo the multitude of unknown bodies cut from fashion magazines is a way to recreate the human body in a new society. For him, the body is mutilated and chaotic, confronting us with the frenzied situation reflected in current political and socio-economic trends in Africa and worldwide.
In an attempt to trace the cultural and family backgrounds, Houda Terjuman takes us on a long trip to the Middle East, Europe and Africa. The man in exile becomes an uprooted tree, a painful path to regaining stability. The sculpture is a founding function space that becomes a place of life and identity negotiation process in the confrontation with otherness.