October 16, 2013 - RAW MATERIAL COMPANY - 1:54 Forum
October 16, 2013

1:54 Forum

Otobong Nkanga, Taste of a Stone: Itiat Esa Ufok, 2013. Site-specific installation and live performance at Bait Khalid bin Ibrahim El Yousif, Sharjah, UAE. Courtesy the artist.

1:54 Forum
16–20 October 2013

Somerset House
West Wing
London WC2R 1LA


Raw Material Company announces 1:54 Forum. With an aim to foster an axis for ideas, exchange and debate, 1:54 Forum will act as the theoretical substructure to 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair. The five-day programme curated by Koyo Kouoh (Artistic Director, Raw Material Company) will encompass keynote lectures, ‘in-conversation’ artist talks, panel discussions, book launch and an associate film programme, traversing critical subjects and activity within the sphere of contemporary African art, its market, institutions and independent art spaces. 

Thematic discussions will draw on perspectives from across and outside the African continent to navigate key social-political and cultural contexts surrounding the frame of 1:54. Joined by some of the art world’s key players such as Chris Dercon (Director, Tate Modern, London), Simon Njami (Co-Founder, Revue Noire, Paris) and Hans Ulrich Obrist (Co-Director, Serpentine Gallery, London), focus topics of 1:54 Forum will include Market, Economies & Galleries, Private & Public Collections and Criticism & Publishing. 

The full schedule for 1:54 Forum is as follows:

Wednesday 16 October 
Opening panel: Stefano Rabolli Pansera (Co-Curator, Angola Pavilion at the 55th Venice Biennale), Elvira Dyangani Ose (Curator International Art, Tate Modern, London) and Edson Chagas (artist, winner of the Golden Lion at the 55th Venice Biennale for the Angola Pavilion) examine contemporary African art in the international arena. Hosted by Koyo Kouoh.

Market, economies & galleries: The Genesis of New Markets: Paul Hewitt (Managing Director of Christie’s Growth Markets) will discuss the nascence of new markets with a focus on emerging economies. Organised in collaboration with Christie’s.

Market, economies & galleries: Building Appreciation: Joëlle le Bussy (Director, Galerie Arte, Dakar), Maria Varnava (Director, Tiwani Contemporary, London) and Imane Farès (Director, Galerie Imane Farès, Paris) will convey their expertise on the current status of the market within and outside Africa and bring to light the artists that they closely support. 

Thursday 17 October
Market, economies & galleries: Exploring New Territories: Antonia Carver (Director, Art Dubai, Dubai), Bisi Silva (Director, Center for Contemporary Art Lagos, Lagos) and Chab Touré (Director, Carpe Diem, Ségou) reflect on introducing contemporary African art in the Middle East through MARKER at Art Dubai 2013. Hosted by Valerie Kabov (Co-Founder and Director of Education and International Projects, First Floor Gallery, Harare).

Artist talks: Hans Ulrich Obrist in conversation with Otobong Nkanga

Hans Ulrich Obrist in conversation with Godfried Donkor

Christine Eyene in conversation with Senam Okudzeto on gender, feminism and identity in her practice

Friday 18 October
Book launch: Condition Report on Building Art Institutions in Africa: Introduction and conversation between Koyo Kouoh and Zineb Sedira on the stimulating development of private artistic initiatives and the thriving community of independent art centres. Hosted by Christine Eyene (Art Critic, Curator and Guild Research Fellow in Contemporary Art, University of Central Lancashire). Organised with the support of the German Federal Cultural Foundation, Goethe-Institut and Arts Collaboratory.

Private & public collections: Building an African Collection of Contemporary Art: Keynote: Sindika Dokolo (Founder, Foundation Sindika Dokolo, Luanda).

Private & public collections: Building an African Collection of Contemporary Art: Bassam Chaïtou (Founder, Collection Chaïtou, Dakar) and Robert Devereux (Founder, The African Arts Trust, London). Hosted by Koyo Kouoh.

Private & public collections: Panel on Public Collections: Chris Dercon (Director, Tate Modern, London), Karen Milbourne (Curator, African Art, National Museum of African Art at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C.) and Gill Saunders (Senior Curator [Prints], Word and Image Department, Victoria and Albert Museum, London) discuss institutional strategies at play to expand their collections of contemporary African art. Hosted by Dr Maria Balshaw (Director, Whitworth Art Gallery and Manchester City Galleries, Manchester).

Saturday 19 October 
Artist talks: Christine Eyene in conversation with photographer Baudouin Mouanda on vanity, fashion and representation of the self. 

15–16h Koyo Kouoh in conversation with Olafur Eliasson and Carsten Höller on the inspirational power in Africa. 

Koyo Kouoh in conversation with Not Vital on living and working in Africa.

Sunday 20 October 
Criticism & publishing: Simon Njami (Co-Founder, Revue Noire, Paris), Dr Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung (Editor-in-Chief, SAVVY Journal, Berlin), Brendon Bell-Roberts (Founder and Publisher, Art South Africa, Cape Town), discuss criticality and theoretical validation of art practice. Hosted by Mark Rappolt (Editor-in-Chief, ArtReview, London).

Film screenings will take place daily 12–13h. Admission to 1:54 Forum is included within 1:54 admission tickets, on a first come, first served basis.

Please visit www.1-54.com/programme for further details. 


Raw Material Company announces 1:54 Forum
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