Lumières d’Afriques, a group exhibition comprising 54 artists from across the African continent, will open at Standard Bank Gallery on 21 February 2020. The 54 unique artworks, each created by an artist from a different African country, represent the theme of ‘The Light of Africa’.
An internationally renowned project by African Artists for Development (AAD), Lumières d’Afriques was founded in 2015. It is premised on the idea that the 21st century belongs to Africa, while also reflecting on the challenges facing the development of the continent. The exhibition has been touring globally for the past five years.
Following the exhibition’s inauguration in Paris at the Théâtre National de Chaillot, the collection of works has been presented at the Donwahi Foundation for Contemporary Art in Côte d’Ivoire, the Institut Fondamental d’Afrique Noire in Senegal, the African Union’s headquarters in Ethiopia, the Palace of Nations in Switzerland, EUMESTAT in Germany and, most recently, in the Mohammed VI Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Morocco.
In addition to their varying countries of origin, the artists in Lumières d’Afriques traverse a wide range of media, from painted and photographic works, to assemblage, textile, and sculptural pieces. Yet they all have been created in response to the issue of energy access across the continent, with a strong Pan-Africanist theme.
Standard Bank Gallery Manager and Curator, Dr Same Mdluli, says there is no better time than now for the South African leg of the exhibition.
‘The power of such exhibitions is how they relate to their context in whatever shape, size or format, and across different geographical locales – especially in how they touch on critical socio-political and economic themes.
‘It was, therefore, the right time and the right place to host such an exhibition, given the kinds of poignant issues it highlights in relation to South Africa’s current challenges – 25 years into its democracy,’ says Dr Mdluli.
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