African art shines at the Venice Biennale

WHAT IS THE VENICE BIENNALE?

Ghana and Madagascar are taking part for the first time in the Venice Biennale. The Biennale is a large exhibition that takes place every two years in Venice, Italy. It starts on the 14th of May 2019 and is on until the 24th of November 2019.

Each country presents artworks by national artists in specially designed spaces. It is one of the most internationally respected and important art events in the world. Six other African countries will also be taking part: Egypt, Côte d’Ivoire, Mozambique, Seychelles, South Africa and Zimbabwe. They have all shown at the Biennale in previous years.

WHAT ARE GHANA AND MADAGASCAR EXHIBITING?

Ghana’s exhibition is curated by Nana Oforiatta Ayim with help from architect David Adjaye. There are six artists featured: El Anatsui, Ibrahim Mahama, John Akomfrah, Selasi Awusi Sosu, Lynette Yiadom-Boakye and Felicia Ansah Abban.

It is designed using traditional architecture and made from soil imported from Ghana. Adjaye says: ‘You really will be in Ghana when you walk in’. The exhibition will travel to Accra after the Biennale ends, so that more people can see it.

Madagascar is showing a solo exhibition of the artist Joël Andrianomearisoa, born in 1977 in Antananarivo. His artwork is made out of black paper and is inspired by myths and literature from Madagascar. The curators Rina Ralay Ranaivo and Emmanuel Daydé want to share a positive image of the island and spread a message of hope.

AFRICA ON THE GLOBAL STAGE

The international media have praised the African nations for their exciting exhibitions. Taking part in the Biennale shows the world the creativity of African artists and encourages more tourists to visit these great countries.

Image © David Levene 2019

SOFIA CARREIRA WHAM

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