Contemporary African Art: History, Theory, and Practice

2007, 2008

Johannesburg, South Africa and Williamstown, MA

"Contemporary African Art" addressed several pointed commissions in art historical scholarship regarding modern and contemporary African art. It also included scholars working on key artists and art movements from Egypt to South Africa, from Senegal to Kenya. Many exhibitions and accompanying catalogues have largely focused on Nigerian and/or South African artists and have largely ignored the prolific and important contributions of African artists of Arab descent and/or African artists of South Asian descent, for example. This project addressed a diversity of under-explored ethnic and geographical areas of scholarship. In addition, it presented the work of scholars focused on a broad range of oft-neglected African artists, art movements, and collectives such as the Dakar Biennales and Morocco’s L’appartment 22. A selection of participant presentations is available on Radioapartment 22

Workshop session topics

"Pedagogy: Art and Art History in Africa"
"Patronage: State, Private, Museology, and Publications"
"Curatorial Practices and the Politics of Representation in Contemporary African Art"
"Art and Post-Apartheid South Africa"
"The Transnational Issues"
"Gender: New Frontiers, Imperatives, and Scholarship"
"Comparative Issues"
"New Directions in the Field: A Roundtable"

Participants included

Meskerem AsseguedZoma Contemporary Art Center, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Allan de SouzaSan Francisco Art Institute
Elizabeth HarneyUniversity of Toronto
Salah HassanCornell University
Abdellah KarroumL’appartement 22, Rabat, Morocco
David KoloaneArtist
Yacouba KonateUniversity of Cocody, Abidjan, Ivory Coast
Gabi NgcoboIndependent Curator, Cape Town, South Africa
Steven NelsonUniversity of California, Los Angeles
Chika Okeke-AguluPrinceton University
Colin RichardsUniversity of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
Sunanda K. SanyalArt Institute of Boston
Jessica WinegarTemple University.