Let’s Play Something, Let’s Play Anything, Let’s Play

The Forum art talks at 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair, Marrakech

Art historian and curator, Karima Boudou, curates the 1-54 FORUM art talks in Marrakech this year. Entitled ‘Let’s Play Something, Let’s Play Anything, Let’s Play’, the series of panels, artist talks and screenings has taken as its point of departure the life and work of Ted Joans (1928 – 2003), an African-American Surrealist painter, jazz musician and poet who lived in Morocco, and later Mali, from the 1960s. Bringing Joans back into the context of Morocco provides a rich ground to discuss the intertwined narratives of surrealism in Africa and its diaspora.

 

Maurice Mbikayi, Facade 1, 2018. Courtesy the artist and Officine dell Imagine, Milan. Maurice Mbikayi, Facade 1, 2018. Courtesy the artist and Officine dell Imagine, Milan.

 

“I am excited to curate this year’s 1-54 FORUM Marrakech for the second edition of the fair in Morocco. I am looking forward to continuing 1-54 FORUM’s legacy as a space for testing ideas and sharing urgent debates within and outside the cultural field. Grounded in Marrakech, with its rich and plural cultural, social and historical fabric, this edition of 1-54 FORUM will depart from the historical figure of African American surrealist Ted Joans to reassess historical and contemporary voices and perspectives of surrealism in the African continent and its diasporas. I am delighted to have these conversations in a city and country I have a strong connection to” says Boudou.

 

Dominique Zinkpe, Untitled, 2018. Courtesy the artist and In Situ - fabienne leclerc.Dominique Zinkpe, Untitled, 2018. Courtesy the artist and In Situ – Fabienne Leclerc.

 

Boudou has selected narratives of surrealism in Africa and its diaspora. ‘Let’s Play Something, Let’s Play Anything, Let’s Play’ is a talks forum in which to reassess the artistic and political potential of material produced by artists, poets, musicians and filmmakers of African descent in the broader international movement; as well as contemporary production in a response to the multi-dimensional nature of this work” she explains.

In addressing the role of the archive in generating and understating histories, the Forum also addresses topics such as ‘The Hostile Narratives Around the Surrealist Movement in Egypt’,  ‘The Films of Kara Walker: Between Narration and Performance’, ‘How can sound and orality reflect and document our (sur)realities and processes of imagination’ and a rare opportunity to engage with the work of Dutch filmmaker Louis van Gasteren.

 

Aboudia, Deux gendarmes, 2017. Courtesy the artist and Galerie Cecile Fakhoury.Aboudia, Deux gendarmes, 2017. Courtesy the artist and Galerie Cecile Fakhoury.

 

We look forward to offering you more insight into these most interesting and topical conversations. Read more about the Biennale in the June issue of ART AFRICA.