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1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair announces exhibitors, special projects and 1-54 Forum talks programme for London 2020

Ekene Emeka Maduka, Morning Assembly, 2020. Oil on canvas. Courtesy Polartics (2)Ekene Emeka Maduka, Morning Assembly, 2020. Oil on canvas. Courtesy of Polartics.

1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair has announced 36 exhibitors from 17 countries participating in a new blended online and offline model for the upcoming London fair taking place 8-10 October 2020 (preview days on Thursday 8 and Friday 9 October). All exhibitors will showcase work at 1-54 Online Powered by Christie’s, with 29 exhibitors also bringing physical presentations to an intimate eighth London edition at Somerset House. As part of the Christie’s partnership, there will also be a curated pop-up exhibition of works from all the Somerset House exhibitors on display at the auction house’s Duke Street Gallery.

1-54 London 2020 will showcase the work of more than 110 emerging and established artists from Africa and its diaspora, working in a wide variety of mediums and from a range of geographical backgrounds. Three solo exhibitions have been announced: DuduBloom More (Berman Contemporary), Anya Paintsil (Ed Cross Fine Art) and Ekene Maduka (Polartics).

Christie’s has partnered with 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair and will be creating and hosting an innovative platform that will power the fair’s online presence, extending the fair’s capabilities for showcasing an extensive range of artworks by participating galleries. Running from 5-12 October 2020 (5 and 6 October are VIP Days), 1-54 Online Powered by Christie’s will offer virtual booths that feature up to 30 works from each gallery, as well as providing a spotlight series on individual artists, all of which will be globally accessible. A curated pop-up exhibition including one seminal work from each exhibitor will take place in the Duke Street Gallery within the company’s Headquarters at King Street, on view to the public from 6-12 October 2020.

The eighth edition of 1-54 London will once again be accompanied by 1-54 Forum, the fair’s extensive talks programme with international artists, curators, art historians and cultural producers. This year, 1-54 Forum is curated by Julia Grosse and Yvette Mutumba (Contemporary And (C&) and Contemporary And América Latina (C&AL) and is titled “I felt like a Black guy from New York trapped in Peru.” Taking place both at Somerset House and online over three afternoons, 1-54 Forum will be engaging with creative Afro-Latin American, Caribbean and African perspectives, asking questions such as: Why is it important to bring together and discuss shared histories and experiences as well as the differences? How can cultural production be generated around these issues? What impact has visibility, or rather invisibility, had on Afro-Latin American creatives and their work within their respective scenes? How have the art scenes in the Caribbean positioned themselves within the growing “hype” around their historical and recent artistic production?

The keynote talk on Thursday 8 October will be an online webinar entitled ‘What is ‘Latinx’?’ by Aldeide Delgado (Online Webinar) looking at implications and opportunities of the new expression that emerged around the mid-twentieth century to describe Latin American migrant communities in the US. Due to social distancing, there will be limited seat capacity for talks taking place on Saturday 10 October at Somerset House, which will be live-streamed to 1-54 YouTube channel. Talks on Sunday 11 October will take place online through Zoom for which advance registration will be necessary. The full line up of 1-54 Forum speakers and ticket registration will be announced next week.

Leila Alaoui, No Pasara, 2008. Courtesy Fondation Leila Alaoui & Galleria Continua.

1-54 is delighted to once again be partnering with Somerset House to present the first major UK retrospective of works by the celebrated late French-Moroccan photographer, video artist and activist Leila Alaoui, which will debut during 1-54 and run through to January 2021. A series of

photographic works created between 2008 and 2014 will be presented alongside Leila Alaoui’s final unfinished video work. Acclaimed for capturing and preserving the unseen stories of individuals and communities displaced by conflict and unrest, Leila Alaoui offers an intimate portrait into the rich cultural identities and resilience of societies facing difficult and uncertain realities. The subjects of Alaoui’s works are pictured across the contemporary Mediterranean-landscape and beyond, from Syrian refugees fleeing civil war in Lebanon to young North Africans seeking an alternative future in Europe. Tragically, Alaoui was killed whilst working on a photography project for a women’s rights campaign for Amnesty International in Burkina Faso in 2016. She was critically wounded during a terrorist attack in Ouagadougou, passing away from her injuries shortly afterwards at the age of 33.

Thanks to 1-54’s long-standing partnership with Artsy, visitors will be also able to explore, connect with, and collect from all the galleries and artists online 7 – 22 October at artsy.net/1-54.

Wole Lagunju, African Art Encounters Jeff Koons, 2020. Oil on canvas, 160 x 106cm. Courtesy Montague Contemporary

Founding Director of 1-54, Touria El Glaoui, commented: “Given the incredible challenges and uncertainty posed by the global COVID-19 pandemic, we are delighted to have been able to find a way to welcome visitors back to our spiritual home at Somerset House in London this October whilst also amplifying our online presence in partnership with Christie’s to ensure that art lovers from all over the world will be able to join us too. Having organised fourteen fairs across three continents in the past eight years, this has certainly been the most demanding planning process yet. We are incredibly grateful to all our exhibitors and partners who have demonstrated great commitment, desire and flexibility to help make this fair happen. It’s very exciting to think that soon we will be opening our doors both online and at Somerset House and I look forward to welcoming new and old friends to the fair… from a safe distance of course!”

Dirk Boll, President of Europe, Middle East and Africa, Christie’s remarked: “We are honoured to partner with 1-54 by powering the fair’s virtual platform, providing online booths and digital space to showcase the many talented artists represented throughout 1-54. We are also offering visitors and exhibitors a physical experience in the galleries at our King Street Headquarters with each gallery presenting a work that defines their programme. The exhibition will be prominently featured alongside our Frieze Week exhibition of auction highlights and together they will form a dynamic presentation that reflects the ethos of 1-54, one of the key moments in London’s October calendar.”

Tickets are on sale now for the public day on Saturday 10 October, with 2-hour time slots available to book all day (10:00-20:00) online here.

List of participating exhibitors at 1-54 London at Somerset House and 1-54 Online

31 project (Paris, France)

50 Golborne (London, United Kingdom)

Addis Fine Art (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia)

Afikaris (Paris, France)

Afriart (Kampala, Uganda)

Atelier Le Grand Village (Massignac, France)

Berman Contemporary (Johannesburg, South Africa)

Boogie Wall (London, United Kingdom)

De Buck Gallery (New York, USA)

Ed Cross Fine Art (London, United Kingdom)

espace d’art contemporain 14°N 61°W (Fort de France, Martinique)

Galerie Eric Dupont (Paris, France)

Galerie Ernst Hilger (Vienna, Austria)

Galerie Number 8 (Brussels, Belgium)

Gallery 1957 (Accra, Ghana)

Gallery Delta (Harare, Zimbabwe)

Guns & Rain (Johannesburg, South Africa)

Jack Bell Gallery (London, United Kingdom)

Luce Gallery (Turin, Italy)

Nil Gallery (Paris, France)

October Gallery (London, United Kingdom)

Polartics (Lagos, Nigeria)

Sakhile & Me (Frankfurt, Germany)

Sulger-Buel Gallery (London, United Kingdom)

TAFETA (London, United Kingdom)

The Gallery of Everything (London, United Kingdom) This is Not a White Cube (Luanda, Angola)

THK Gallery (Cape Town, South Africa)

Ubuntu Art Gallery (Cairo, Egypt)

List of exhibitors participating in 1-54 Online

Claire Oliver Gallery (New York, USA)

Galleria Anna Marra (Rome, Italy) Loft Art Gallery (Casablanca, Morocco)

Mindy Solomon (Miami, USA)

Montague Contemporary (New York, USA)

OOA (Madrid, Spain)

SMO Contemporary Art (Lagos, Nigeria)

Spier Arts Trust (Cape Town, South Africa)

1-54 Forum London 2020 Programme: “I felt like a Black guy from New York trapped in Peru”*

Thursday 8 October

Keynote: What Is ‘Latinx’? (Online Webinar) The term “Latinx” is an update of traditional labels such as “Hispanic” or “Latin” which emerged around the mid-twentieth century to describe Latin American migrant communities in the US. Aldeide Delgado talks about the implications and opportunities of the new expression.

Saturday 10 October

Representation Beyond Representation In this current moment that sees a rise of interest in Europe and North America towards Caribbean art scenes and art histories the panel asks questions around who is represented by who, where and how? What does this rising attention mean? How or does this even affect cultural producers from the Caribbean and its Diaspora? On the panel the participants discuss their perspectives and experiences.

This talk will include both in-person and in-calling participants.

Modes Of Resistance What role does or should play contemporary art in moments like these? On a political, personal, global scale? Why is it crucial? Or isn’t it? What role play important notions of solidarity and self-care? This panel invites artists and academics to discuss current urgencies and strategies in the context of the Brazilian art scenes. This includes academic and artistic perspectives.

This talk will include both in-person and in-calling participants.

Global Connections What are the shared histories, narratives and experiences, what are the differences that define the connections between Afro-Latin America, The Caribbean and Africa? How, if it all, does this affect cultural producers finding themselves in a creative state of flux?

This talk will include both in-person and in-calling participants.

Sunday 11 October

A View From Another Side Of Things (Online Webinar) Many of the inequalities inherited from slavery in Colombia still remain, having an impact on different levels of society. This panel brings together cultural producers from afro-Colombian perspectives to discuss the notions of inequality and invisibility in the context of Colombia’s creative/art sector.

Relationship Status: It’s Complicated (Online Webinar) The profound distortions related to African legacy in Argentina, Mexico and Peru are still far from being part of a mainstream narrative. The historical, institutional and personal difficulties in examining African identity in Argentina, Mexico and Perus are also becoming more and more relevant for various cultural producers using artistic activism as a tool for raising awareness.

*Quote from Afro-Peruvian graffiti artist Entes

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