Africa Screams

5/11 2004 — 30/1 2005
Museumsquartier / Halle2

Free admission to the exhibition with your Viennale-Ticket!

Africa Screams sets out on a foray through the ancient and modern mythologies of Africa, following in the tracks of evil and revulsion, ugliness and fear. Since the triumph of video technology, the shadowy side of modernism has also been captured in ever more fantastic images and legends: the expansion of occult economies, neocannibalism, witchcraft and zombies.
This encounter with evil, manifested socially in the African wars of state destruction and ritual murders, is presented in the exhibition in a variety of ways. From Sokari Douglas Camp’s machine-like forms inspired by the Yoruba gelede masks via South African artist Jane Alexander’s ambiguous installation Danger Gevaar Ingozi in which a psychically present watchman oversees a symbolically inhabited cage to the trash iconography and horror appropriation of Nigerian video production.

Africa Screams is an initial attempt to situate the contours of an art and cultural history of horror in the mirror of contemporary art. Here we are dealing with an “archaeology of the legacies of war” (Simon Njami), the hypocritical post-colonial development ideologies and the transformation of spiritual motifs into the environment of contemporary media. Africa Screams seeks to counteract the suppression of evil and instead make the “scars of memory” (Kofi Setordji) visible.

Curators: Thomas Mießgang, Ulf Vierke, Tobias Wendl

Jane Alexander (Südafrika), Fernando Alvim (Angola/Belgien),
Willie Bester (Südafrika), Conrad Botes (Südafrika),
Candice Breitz (Südafrika), Sokari Douglas Camp (Nigeria/UK),
Cheri Cherin (DR Kongo), Samuel Fosso (Zentralafrika), El Loko (Togo/BRD), Abu Bockari Mansaray (Sierra Leone), Kofi Setordji (Ghana),
Twins Seven Seven (Nigeria), Pascale Marthine Tayou (Kamerun/Belgien), Dominique Zinkpé (Benin).

Guided tours: every Sunday 4 pm