Category Archives: Publication

CFC: SAVVY Journal 5th Edition

Savvy logo CALL FOR CONTRIBUTIONS 5th EDITION SAVVY JOURNAL 

At The Shrine

Reflections, Reciprocalities and Reverberations: Fine Art and Music

The fifth edition of the SAVVY Journal for critical texts on contemporary African art will explore the influence of music on contemporary art practices and map interfaces between visual media, fine art, and music in the African and African diaspora context. The title of this collection, “At the Shrine” is a reference to Fela Kuti‘s Shrine Nightclub and concert venue; a cultural space and an epitome of a social sculpture. This music venue captures our vision of the links between visual expression, music, and critical inquiry.

The mutual relationship between music and fine art, which goes back to time immemorial, manifests itself on different levels. Both artistic languages inform each other in diverse enriching ways. Some of these points of intersection that have crystallized and proven to be ground-breaking in a variety of disciplines in recent decades include, but are not limited to: Performance/ Performativity – e.g. the enigmatic blend of music and performance art, as in the case of Les Têtes Brulées, or the socio-political vigour channelled through the audio and visual of Fela Kuti’s music, which has since been an important source of inspiration for many visual artists; Photography – e.g. the presence of James Brown’s music in Malick Sidibe’s photography, the synergy between Johannesburg’s jazz scene and a whole generation of Drum photographers, or the field of music portraiture championed by the likes of Samuel Nja Kwa; Video – ranging from video art, as in the case of Goddy Leye’s “We Are The World”, to music video clips featuring a variety of musical styles from Azonto, through Coupé Decalé or Kwaito to Rai that have completely transformed the production and consumption of popular culture in Africa; Illustration, Patterning, and Painting – which have been essential in the making of outstanding record covers and album posters; the interconnectedness between music and fashion design; the influence of the likes of Sun Ra on Afrofuturism; Experimental Composition and Sound Art as in the case of Emeka Ogboh; Theatre/ Theatricality – the links in popular theatre traditions between multimedia theatre groups that rely on popular music bands and sign-board painters, such as in Ghanaian and Nigerian Concert Party traditions; Electronica – artists, musicians are creatively reusing music software, online resources, and mobile phone technologies to refigure older styles of music, dance, communication and visual imaging. Some of these forms are explicitly understood as art while others are ephemeral forms of expression. Street Art – graffiti, spoken word, poetry, street dance are forms that link musical, political and counter-cultural expression.

This edition of SAVVY Journal is not intended as an anthology of music and fine art. Instead, we   ask contributors to investigate where disciplines meet, how genres are demarcated, and what emerges from their various encounters, as well as explore the nexus between performativity, fine art, music and technology. Indeed we are concerned with the ways in which ideas of genre and modality are themselves made and unmade in artistic practice. We are interested in articles on the role of sound appropriation in the conceptualisation of art works and of visual aspects in the creation, performance and consumption of sound and music.

Furthermore, this edition will explore and identify those artists who, using various textures and formats, work on this crossroad of sound and vision. Also, from a more general point of view, we are interested in reflections on how the encounter of image and sound in popular music has influenced culture and society. The impact of soundtracks on social and political movements on and beyond the continent would be another fascinating topic.

For this edition, the SAVVY Journal editorial will be enriched by the following guest-editors:

Dr. Hauke Dorsch (African Music Archives, Mainz), Ntone Edjabe (Chimurenga / Pan African Space Station, Cape Town) and Prof. Jesse Weaver Shipley (Haverford College, Philadelphia).

We invite essays from writers of all backgrounds – artists, curators, art historians, and theoreticians, scholars – not exceeding 3500 words in length, discussing the above mentioned or related issues.

Additionally, we are interested in more general articles such as artist-features, exhibition reviews and previews of circa 1500 words.

For more information please visit www.savvy-journal.com

Submissions to: editorial@savvy-journal.com

Deadline: 15th August 2013

Modalities:

  • Manuscripts with max. 3500 words in length, as text document WITHOUT formatting
  • Author’s names and short biography of ca. 100 words at the end of the article
  • Texts must be accompanied by five keywords
  • Manuscripts must be submitted in English or German. All German texts should also be accompanied by an English translation
  • All bibliographic references must be included in the document’s last page
  • VERY IMPORTANT: Do NOT  use the footnote or endnote facility in your word-processing program; just add the notes, numbered, at the end of the main text
  • VERY IMPORTANT: please include the following info: – artist’s (or author’s) name in CAPTIONS, title of work must be in italic, date of work, media, dimensions, collection (or place of exhibition), photo credits. e.g._: Jane Alexander, The Butcher Boys, 1985/86 (plaster sculpture), National Gallery of Arts, Cape Town, South Africa.
SAVVY | art.contemporary.african
SAVVY | kunst.zeitgenössisch.afrikanisch
http://www.savvy-journal.com
editorial@savvy-journal.com
Dr. Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung (Chief-Editor)
Andrea Heister (Dep. Chief-Editor)
SAVVY Journal c/o SAVVY Contemporary e.V.
Richard Str. 43/44
12005 Berlin
Germany
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Book Review: Wounds of Returning

We are pleased to announce that a new book review by postgraduate student James West of the University of Manchester has been added to the research section of the Black Atlantic Resource, which takes a look at the 2007 publication Wounds of Returning.

Jessica Adams, Wounds of Returning: Race, Memory and Property on the Postslavery Plantation, 2007 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press)

Wounds of Returning book coverThe author’s description of this study as an ‘eclectic, unconventional plantation tour’ (15-­‐16) probably best surmises Wounds of Returning, a highly original but often frustrating work on the spatial, cultural and ideological legacy of southern plantations since emancipation. Adams builds from a Lockean foundation concerning the connection between property and the individual to argue that race forms an integral part of the relationship between possession, property and personhood in the American south. Using a wide array of cultural and literary artefacts Adams assesses the ways in which plantation culture has been negotiated through film, music, literature and tourism …read more

If you are interested in contribution a book review to the Black Atlantic Resource please contact us.

Book Review: Human Zoos

A new review by postgraduate research student Emily Trafford of the University of Liverpool’s School of Histories, Languages and Cultures has been added to the research section of the Black Atlantic Resource, which looks at the 2008 publication Human Zoos.

P. Blanchard, N. Bancel, G. Boёtsch, É. Deroo, S. Lemaire, C. Forsdick (eds), Human Zoos: Science and Spectacle in the Age of Colonial Empires, 2008 (Liverpool University Press: Liverpool)

This recent collection of essays on the display of human otherness moves beyond the wave of freak show literature of the 1980s and ‘90s, and seeks to provide a more comprehensive overview of this peculiar exhibitionary practice. The display of the exotic Other for entertainment, education, and supposedly the advancement of scientific knowledge, occurred in numerous guises throughout imperial nations in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The strength of the volume lies in its scope – in terms of time and place, the historical characters and stories that emerge, and the disciplinary approaches that its contributors utilise – all of which make Human Zoos a valuable resource …read more

If you are interested in contributing a book review to the Black Atlantic Resource please contact us.

Representations of Slavery Symposium Audio Now Online!

Selected images from : Positive Negative Guardian Paperworks via: http://www.lubainahimid.info/

We are happy to announce that audio recordings for the symposium recently held at Newcastle University – Representations of Slavery in Neoliberal Times – are now freely available online.

The recordings of papers and subsequent roundtable discussion are available to listen to on the School of Arts and Cultures webpages, these include:

Alternative Empathies: Representing Slavery’s Affective Afterlives
, Carolyn Pedwell, Newcastle University

Negative Positives: The Guardian, The Slave, The Wit and The Money, 
Lubaina Himid, Centre for Contemporary Art, University of Central Lancashire

Debt, Freedom and Slavery in Neoliberal Times,
 Julia O’Connell Davidson, University of Nottingham

To listen to these recordings click here. Thanks to sympoisum organiser Daniel McNeil for letting us know about this great resource.

CFC: Savvy | art.contemporary.african

Call for Contributions for the 4th edition of savvy|art.contemporary.african. journal.

“Curating: Expectations and Challenges”

Contemporary African Art looks back at a vibrant history of  ‘presentation tactics’ and curatorial conceptualisation strategies within the different frameworks of biennials, independent projects, museum exhibitions, and even ethnographic collections.  Over the last 100 years, the ways of exhibition-making changed profoundly and  particularly within the field of Non-Western art one can perceive a change of parameters of curating – especially since a  generation of Non-Western curators decided to take over the reins and seize the sceptre, which was until the late 80s mostly in the hands of some Western curators, the Western art market and its critique. The debate on “how, who, and where to show” has increased fiercely in the last 20 years. So we now pose the questions again in a bid to deliberate on current curatorial theories and practices in the framework of Contemporary African Art.

What are the prominent issues of display and curating that inform and condition exhibition making? Which curatorial concepts (past or current) do you consider seminal and which improvable? Where and how do artists position themselves in exhibitions authored by curators and can artistic knowledge be implemented as method of curating? What are the relations between artists, curators, public and institutions? Is there a cognizable methodology in curating Contemporary African Art exhibitions with regard to Western or Non-Western curators? How do non governmental art project spaces on and beyond the continent influence and revolutionize the trajectories of curatorial practices? Can the curator effectively serve as broker or facilitator between art and audience?

The 4th edition of the SAVVY Journal will thus position itself as a knowledge-sharing platform, wherein ideologies and philosophies, sciences and economics, ethics and aesthetics  of the curatorial practice discipline,  and in general, the semantics of exhibition making will be elaborated upon. We put the finger on the pulse of  time and want to explore the contemporary expectations and challenges of curating  in general and Contemporary African Art in particular.

Therefore, we invite artists, curators, art historians, theoreticians and other intellectuals to submit texts, not exceeding 3500 words in length, treating the above mentioned issues.

Furthermore, we are interested in other articles such as artist-features, exhibition reviews and previews of circa 1500 words.
For more information please visit www.savvy-journal.com

Submissions to: editorial@savvy-journal.com

Deadline: 01. July 2012    
Contact: editorial@savvy-journal.com with any further questions.

‘Timed Out’ Panel Discussion and Book Launch

We are happy to announce this exciting event taking place at InIVA next week:

Panel Discussion and launch of a new book, Timed Out: Art and the Transnational Caribbean (Manchester University Press), by Dr Leon Wainwright. With panellists: Sonia Boyce and Paul Wood. Chaired by Paul Goodwin.

Timed out is a pioneering study of modern and contemporary art in the aftermath of empire. It addresses the current ‘global turn’ in the study of art by way of the transnational Caribbean, offering an in-depth account of its integral role in histories of art in the Atlantic world. The book looks at why art of the Anglophone Caribbean and its diaspora has been placed not only ‘outside’ but ‘behind’ more familiar and dominant art canons, and how the politics of space and time can be engaged in new ways to rethink the global geography of art.”

This event will be held at InIVA, Rivington Place, London beginning at 6.30pm. To find out more click here.

To find out more about the book and its author click here.

Arcade Fire in Haiti and Kanaval in Jacmel

The stimulus for this week’s video feature was a montage of clips made into a short video by the world-renowned band Arcade Fire from a couple of trips they made to Haiti.

These clips were filmed during a number of trips Arcade Fire made to Haiti in March 2011 and February 2012 and played to one of the best tracks – Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains) – from their latest album The Suburbs. There are some great shots of the mountainous landscape that gave Haiti its name but also a lot of great clips showing Haitian carnival masks and costumes being used in performance in the Southern Haitian town of Jacmel.

These clips reminded me of the arresting images of Haitian carnival revealers by photographer Leah Gordon in the book Kanaval: Vodou, Politics and Revolution of the Streets of Haiti published in 2010. These extraordinarily potent images are surrounded by a number of compelling essays by scholars working in a variety of disciplines and an array of oral testimonies from contemporary carnival participants who discuss: their costume, their performance, and its meaning for them.

More images of Kanaval – with some short descriptions of stock characters – can be seen on Leah Gordon’s homepage. The Guardian also posted a review of the publication in 2010 that provoked a heated online debate with some though-provoking comments. This is still available to view online, click here to see it in full.

Showing the vast preparations for this annual event is another film created by Haitian youth working with Ciné Institute who are based in Jacmel. They began by creating Film Festival Jakmèl which screened international films to thousands of Haitians annually. This event was held for three years before Ciné Institute expanded to provide film education and edutainment, technical training, and media related micro enterprise opportunities to local youth.

This film is an assembly of stories filmed by Ciné Lekol students during the 2009 Jacmel Carnival under the instruction of Jonathan Stack in a workshop on Documentary Production and posted on Vimeo. This video follows a few individuals and groups who take part in carnival every year in the run up to the 2009 event. Its features a brilliant set of short interviews with participants who explain how they prepare for carnival each year revealing a mix of motivations behind carnival performance. Even such esteemed politicians as René Preval and Abraham Lincoln makes appearances among more familiar carnival characters like Charles Oscar and the lansekod.  Click here to find out more about Ciné Institute – whose latest film Stones in the Sun had its world premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival this weekend.