FORUM

  • Hilary Northcraft

BLACK STAR: GHANA REPRESENTS AT 2022 VENICE BIENNALE

Curated by Nana Oforiatta Ayim -- director of ANO Institute of Arts and Knowledge in Accra and director-at-large of Ghana’s Museums and Cultural Heritage -- Ghana's highly anticipated exhibition at the 2022 Venice Biennale entitled, Black Star – The Museum as Freedom, will feature installations by three artists: Na Chainkua Reindorf, Afroscope, and Diego Araúja. Invited to respond to the variety of meanings associated with the country’s iconic Black Star symbol, which adorns the country's flag as well as inspired the name for an important civic monument, Black Star Square (also known as Independence Square in Accra), and has been used as a beacon for people of African descent to return to the continent, the artworks will examine "new constellations of this freedom across time, technology and borders." (ArtReview)


The installations will be displayed within a modular bamboo structure designed by D.K. Osseo-Asare of Low Design Office (Lowdo), a practice based in Ghana, and Texas. Lowdo creates spaces and buildings that it describes as “inclusive innovation for people living in resource-constrained environments.” Osseo-Asare’s structures will also be replicated in spaces across Venice and Ghana, with the intention of linking these two sites through their shared histories, notably the gold-salt trade routes once connecting the Venice lagoon with its equivalent in Sakumono, Ghana. (The Art Newspaper)


In a statement, Oforiatta Ayim said, “Ghana in its 65th year still grapples with political, economic, cultural, social and knowledge systems not made of or for its contexts. Systems created within its communities over thousands of years were deemed inferior to ones termed ‘universal’ by dominant powers.”


She continued, “As we outgrow and move beyond ill-fitting systems; new ones, not yet defined, that draw on rich histories, not with nostalgia but with discernment of hindsight and experience; are forming.”


The 59th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia, titled The Milk of Dreams, will open on Saturday, April 23rd and run through Sunday, November 27, 2022. The Exhibition will also include 80 National Participations in the historic Pavilions at the Giardini, at the Arsenale and in the city centre of Venice. Three African countries will be participating for the first time at the Biennale Arte: Republic of Cameroon, Namibia, and Uganda.


For more info visit the official Venice Biennale website or this article in e-flux Journal.



Editor's Note: We offer our congratulations to the two Black women who were awarded Venice Biennale’s top honors, known as the Golden Lions: artists Simone Leigh and Sonia Boyce!