When the acclaimed exhibition was first launched at the Museum Kunst Palast, Düsseldorf, in 2004, it was considered to be the largest exhibition of contemporary African art ever seen in Europe. It includes painting, sculpture, installation, video, drawing, photography and design. The role of the African artists on the international art scene is a contemporary one. The artists represent their own work – not their countries.
Africa Remix explores the themes of city and land (the contrasting experiences of urban and rural life), identity and history (including issues of tradition and modernity and the relation of the individual to the community) and body and soul (religion, spirituality, emotion and sexuality).
South African artists included in the exhibition are Jane Alexander; Willie Bester; Wim Botha; Andries Botha; Tracey Derrick; Marlene Dumas; David Goldblatt; Jackson Hlungwani; William Kentridge; Moshekwa Langa; Zwelethu Mthethwa; Santu Mofokeng; Tracey Rose and Guy Tillim.
Cameroon-born, Paris-based curator and critic Simon Njami is the curator of Africa Remix. After its opening in Germany, the show subsequently travelled to the Hayward Gallery in London; Centre Pompidou in Paris; the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo and the Moderna Museet in Stockholm. This is the first time it has been seen in Africa.
Njami is a writer, curator and novelist. He was co-founder and chief editor of the Paris based journal Revue Noire and has published numerous essays on African contemporary art. He is visiting professor at the University of San Diego (African arts, photography, literature and arts); visual arts consultant for the Association Française d’Action Artistique (AFAA) and director of Rencontres de la Photographie de Bamako. He has curated a number of exhibitions including L’Afrique par elle-meme (Revue Noire, photography) in Paris; London and tour (1998 to 1999); El Tempo de Africa, Las Palmas (2000) and Madrid (2001), Fragments of Africa, ARCO, Madrid (2004) and the African section of the Sao Paolo Biennale (2004).
Several walkabouts of Africa Remix: Contemporary Art of a Continent will be conducted offering the public an opportunity to gain insight into the exhibition and artworks. Guided tours of the exhibition by museum guides will be given for schools, learners and the general public.