Six African Artists To Be Featured in the 2019 Venice Biennale Central Exhibition

The six artists include two from Nigeria and South Africa and one from Kenya and Ethiopia.

Curated by Hayward Gallery Director Ralph Rugolf, the Central Exhibition of the 58th Venice Biennale will focus on the modern-day conundrum-fake news.

Under the title ‘May you live in Interesting Times,’ the exhibition ironically looks at dissemination of misinformation in 79 entries by a total of 79 participating artists six of whom are from Africa. “May You Live In Interesting Times” is named after a phrase that has been invoked in speeches by Western politicians for over a hundred years as an ‘ancient Chinese curse’, even though such a curse never actually existed. Curator Ralph Rugoff describes this ‘counterfeit curse’ as an ‘uncertain artefact… at once suspect and rich in meaning’, noting that it suggests ‘potential lines of exploration that are worth pursuing at present, especially when the “interesting times” it evokes seem to be with us once again’’ says the exhibition catalogue summary.

Made majorly of artists born after the 70s, the African continent will be represented by renowned Ethiopian artist Mehretu Julie 1970, Kenyan Armitage Michael 1984, South Africans Muholi Zanele 1977 and Wa Lehulere Kemang 1984, Nigerians Akunyili Crosby 1983 and Nkanga Otobong 1974.

Participating African nationalities include Egypt, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Algeria, Madagascar, Ivory Coast, Ghana and Mozambique. Ghana, Algeria and Madagascar are showcasing for the first time. Nigeria had her first pavilion in the 57th edition but will not be participating this year. Venice Art Biennale opens to the public on May 11th and runs to November 24th 2019.

Check out this link for the complete list of the 2019 central exhibition artists.

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