Previous Exhibition

20/05/2018 - 11/02/2019

Drawing Africa on the Map

Marlene Dumas, William Kentridge, Moshekwa Langa, Gareth Nyandoro, Bahia Shehab

During the festival Evor’Afrika, in Evora, the Quetzal Art Centre exibited ‘Drawing Africa on the Map’; an exhibition that brings together artists from different parts of Africa who all have their artistic roots in the fragile and compelling medium of drawing. In their own individual way, each of these artists have left their mark on the wider world of art and on contemporary African discourse.

The exhibition is set around a solo presentation by Gareth Nyandoro (b. 1982, Zimbabwe) entitled Ku4 (meaning Ruwa Urban Zone), whose art practice is marked by drawing impressions of the material and mental constructs of the urban sphere of economical exchange. Within his work he alternates and combines three dimensional objects and two dimensional collages, by using a various pallet of found, on-hand materials, and ad hoc and traditional craft techniques, dubbed by himself as ‘Kuchekacheka’.

Alongside Nyandoro’s presentation the art centre will show works from Collection de Bruin-Heijn within the framework of the Festival. A group of early and rarely shown intimate drawings by Marlene Dumas (b. Kaapstad, 1953) made between the late seventies and early nineties and emphasizing the beginning of the key topics of ‘love, death, and desire’ within her oeuvre, are shown next to doodle-like and poetic drawings by Moshekwa Langa (b.1975, Limpopo, South Africa).
Langa approaches the artistic process as an anthropological study of the self, whereby he works with different media and uses the medium of drawing as a manner of mapping autobiographical content; alternating text, figuration, and abstraction.
Another artist from the collection is South African artist William Kentridge (b.1955) of whom the films Ten Drawings for Projection will be shown. The film series are short animated films, each lasting no more than ten minutes, made between 1989 and 2011, that exemplify Kentridge’s signature animated drawing technique. Together, the films tell the story of the battle between his alter egos – romantic artist Felix Teitelbaum and heartless capitalist Soho Eckstein, set against the backdrop of Kentridge’s hometown Johannesburg and the remaining inequality and struggles of a white man in post-apartheid South Africa.

The Egyptian/ Libanese artist, activist and scholar of the Arabic script Bahia Shehab (b. 1977) will show a typographical mural entitled A Thousand times no. The work originates from an invitation to participate in an exhibition commemorating 100 year of Islamic art in Europe, under the curatorial condition of using the Islamic script for the proposed work. As a manner of resistance against stereotyping, Shehab felt an urge to say ‘No’, a forceful no, emphasized within the Arabic language by stating ‘no, and a thousand times no’. This urge triggered her to research everything ever produced under Islamic patronage stating the word ‘No’ within the past 1400 years from Spain to the borders of China and propose the found scripts as a booklet and art work for the exhibition. During the Arabic Revolution in 2011 the word and typography of Shehab’s ‘No’ not only symbolized a personal statement, but simultaneously became a symbol of collective resistance against the Egyptian regime.

More information: read the leaflet Drawing Africa on the Map’ or read the publication in Independent Collectors.