Spectacles. Speculations… (2018)
Dzyadzorm (b. 1987)
Dzyadzorm is a Ghanaian-Liberian poet who interrelates the written and spoken word in her work. Her content occasionally finds form in music. Dzyadzorm’s performative style is delicately textured with surreal pathos while passionately exploring themes of love, desire, geopolitics, gender and identity politics from a feminist perspective. She participated in Voyage of [Re]Discovery (2015), a group exhibition organized by Nubuke Foundation in Accra, Ghana.
María Leguízamo (b. 1988)
María Leguízamo is an artist from Colombia, currently working between Philadelphia (U.S.A) and Bogotá (Colombia). In 2017, she graduated with an MFA in Sculpture at Tyler School of Art with the support of a Fulbright Fellowship. She is a member of the Punk-Pop band Da Peeblz, an intersectional feminist music band for kids. Leguízamo has focused her practice on themes such as the phenomenon of absence of land and the potency of fragility and invisibility as subversive apparatuses; with her explorations always unfolding from personal experiences embedded in specific sociopolitical contexts. Her work has been shown at Temple Contemporary, The Woodmere Art Museum and ICEBOX-Crane Arts in Philadelphia; The Koppel Project in London; Artecamara Chapinero and El Claustro San Agustín in Bogotá.
Ibrahim Mahama (b. 1987)
Ibrahim Mahama is an artist who lives and works in Tamale, Ghana. He earned a BFA and MFA in Painting and Sculpture from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST). In 2012 he began producing “Occupations”, a series of itinerant installations made in collaboration with migrant communities using industrial materials, namely jute fibre sacks used to carry various commodities. His work has been included in a number of group shows including Pangea I (2014) and Pangea II (2015) at Saatchi Gallery, London, Silence Between The Lines (2015) in Ahenema Kokobeng, Kumasi, The Gown must Go To Town (2015), Accra, the 56th Venice Biennale “All The Worlds Futures” (2015), Orderly Disorderly (2017), Accra, and documenta 14, Learning from Athens, Athens and Kassel (2017).
Kelvin Haizel (b.1987)
Kelvin Haizel investigates the contemporary condition of the image and expresses his ideas through video, photography, installations and objects. He holds a BFA and MFA in Painting and Sculpture from the College of Art, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST). He has exhibited widely in his home country Ghana, and elsewhere including Nigeria, Mozambique, France and Portugal. His body of work from a recent solo show “things and nothings” showed in Mali, at the 11th edition of the Rencontres de Bamako, Biennale Africaine de la Photographie (2017), dubbed Afrotopia. He served as guest curator for the maiden edition of the Lagos Biennale, 2017. He is winner of the Vontobel Prize for Contemporary Photography, “A New Gaze 2018”.
Aisha Nelson (b. 1986)
Aisha Nelson dreams, writes, thinks, teaches and lives in Accra, Ghana. A set of her poems was shortlisted by Erbacce Press in 2014; one won Akwantuo Writing’s 2015 Harmattan Poetry Contest. More of her poetry, short fiction, non-fiction and short plays have featured in outlets including Accra Theatre Workshop, One Ghana One Voice, Kalahari Review, Munyori Journal, Saraba Magazine, University of London’s Prairie Schooner, Writers Project of Ghana’s 2015 poetry anthology According to Sources and Caine Prize for African Writing’s 2015 short story anthology Lusaka Punk and Other Stories. Nelson shares some of her writing on her blog, Nu kɛ Hulu (Water and Sun), at aishawrites.wordpress.com.
Mawuenya Amudzi (b. 1992)
Mawuenya Amudzi’s photographic objects are created from disused cathode ray tube (CRT) television screens and computer monitors. His process involves taking photographs of activities in the scrap yards and repairer workshops, where he collects the materials, and transferring these images on transparent stickers onto the screens. Light fixtures are sometimes incorporated to augment theatricality in these objects. Amudzi has participated in group exhibitions including Orderly Disorderly (2017) organized by blaxTARLINES KUMASI in Accra, Ghana and the inaugural Lagos Biennial dubbed Living on the Edge in 2017.
Men on Black (collective)
Men on Black is a collective comprised of poet Sir Black and actors Dr. So and Jeneral Nta Tia. Adapting Franz Kafka’s characterization in The Trial into a three-person stage act, the trio explore the situational dynamic between performer and audience with the experimental form of black box theatre. In The Trial (originally published in German as Der Process in 1925), Kafka tells the story of Josef K, Chief Clerk of a bank, who is, for no reason, arrested one morning and assumed guilty. His prosecution becomes a series of events shrouded in bureacracy and secrecy — from his offense to the rules of the law court, to the remote authorities behind the courts until his execution. The play was directed by Simon Eifeler and premiered in Theaterfabrik in Düsseldorf, Germany in 2016.
Steloolive (b. 1984)
Steloolive is a Ghana based DJ of electronic music who remixes content from live percussion, fashion, photography, sound and performance in his work. He has performed in Accra’s biggest street art festival, Chale Wote, Nairobi’s Thrift Social, Abidjan’s Electropique Festival and Bush Man Film Festival. Steloolive has also performed at We Don’t Contemporary festival in Hamburg, Germany, Afropean Mimicry and Mockery III, Frankfurk, Germany, and Iwalewahaus – Future Ports of Entry Festival Bayreuth, Germany.
Akwasi Afrane Bediako (b. 1990)
Akwasi Afrane Bediako has a BFA and MFA from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Ghana. He has participated in group exhibitions including “if you love me…” (2016) co-curated by Robin Riskin, Patrick Nii Okanta Ankrah and Selom Kudjie in Kumasi and Orderly Disorderly (2017) organized by blaxTARLINES KUMASI in Accra, Ghana.
Francis Kokoroko (b. 1987)
Francis Kokoroko is a freelance photographer and artist living and working in Accra, Ghana. He has a B.Sc. in Computer Science from Ashesi University College. Kokoroko developed the passion for image-making after studying Projects in Photography at the New York University Campus in Accra— a program run by artist Lyle Ashton Harris. He is a member of Nuku Studio— a photography institution at the forefront of the advancement of image-making and its interpretation in Africa— and has participated in World Press Photo West African Master Class (2017). Kokoroko has a keen interest in documenting the upbeat everyday life on the African continent and its ever-evolving cultures. He currently works on long-term projects for Reuters Wider Image. His @accraphoto account on Instagram chronicles his encounters in Ghana and journeys through the African continent. His work has been exhibited at Addis Foto (2016) and Lagos Photo (2017).
Poku Mensah (b. 1992)
Poku Mensah is an artist of Ghanaian nationality born in Accra, Ghana. In 2010, he was admitted to Northeastern University in Boston Massachusetts where he pursued Architecture but failure to complete led him to Paris in 2011. In 2012 he was admitted to Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux Arts de Paris. He attained his Masters degree (DNSAP) in December 2017 after admission to the post-graduate residency (Van Eyck Academy). Mensah has participated in exhibitions including Dak’Art Biennale (2016), Salon d’Automne on the Champs Elysee (2016), Capital Africa at LaVillette (Paris) under the curatorial management of Simon Njami (June 2017) and the inaugural edition of the Lagos Biennial (2017). He interned for Claudy Jongstra in Friesland Netherlands during the summer of July 2017. He is currently a guest lecturer in Sculpture at the Chiang Mai University in Thailand.
Bright Ackwerh (1989)
Bright Ackwerh is an artist from Ghana whose satirical computer-aided illustrations make commentary on geopolitics and pop culture. Ackwerh considers the internet (social media) as a site of intervention for his often provocative, exaggerated and controversial subject matter encountering different forms of censorship. His versatile practice is situated in the interstices of painting, illustration and street art. He graduated from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) where he earned a BFA and MFA in Painting and Sculpture. He is the winner of the Kuenyehia Prize for Ghanaian Contemporary Art in 2016, an honor conferred on him by a jury led by Professor El Anatsui. He was also named one of the top 10 artists in the 2017 Barclays L’atelier.
Edwin Bodjawah (b. 1970)
Edwin Bodjawah is an artist and teacher based in Kumasi, Ghana. He has featured in exhibitions including blaxTARLINES KUMASI’s large-scale exhibitions at the Museum of Science & Technology in Accra — The Gown Must Go to Town (2015) Cornfields in Accra (2016) and Orderly Disorderly (2017). In 2017 Bodjawah’s solo exhibition “of Blood Soil & More… SILENCE SPEAKS” was held at the Cape Coast Castle in Ghana.
Kwabena Afriyie Poku (b. 1968)
Educated at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi, where he currently teaches, Kwabena Afriyie Poku started his practice as a painter, illustrator and art teacher. Poku’s works have evolved into incorporating new territories of digital expression. Exploring performance and video, amidst other digital media, his work emphasizes Karate-related principles —regarding body movements, time, speed, and angles— as content for art practice. Poku has shown his work in residencies and several local and international exhibitions including Dialogue (2015-2016), a Ghanaian-Danish collaboration in Ghana and Denmark, and Orderly Disorderly (2017) organized by blaxTARLINES KUMASI in Accra.
Koliko constitutes a loose collective of practitioners who share an interest in music and are based in Kumasi, Ghana. For the group music is a tool for entertainment and for the soul which ought to be available to everybody, irrespective of age, class, gender or racial background. Koliko’s music functions as a medium through which to express these egalitarian ideals. Inspired by the Afrobeat band Osibisa, founded in the late 1960s, and Kwame Yeboah’s “Ohia Bɛ Yɛ Ya” band, the group’s cosmopolitan sound appropriates from local highlife music (Adadamu, Burger highlife, etc), Jazz, Soul, Calypso, et al.
Bernard Akoi-Jackson (1979)
Bernard Akoi-Jackson is a Ghanaian artist who lives and works from Tema/Accra/Kumasi. His multi-disciplinary, audience-implicating installations and performative pseudo-rituals, have featured in exhibitions like “An Age of Our Own Making (Reflection II),” Museet for Samtidskunst, Roskilde, Denmark, (2016); “Silence Between The Lines” in Kumasi (2015), “Material Effects”, Eli and Edythe Broad Museum. MSU, East Lansing, USA (2015), “WATA don PASS: Looking West” CCA, Lagos and Lillith Performance Studio, Malmö, Sweden (2015) and “Time, Trade and Travel”, Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam and Nubuke Foundation, East Legon, Accra, Ghana (August – October 2012 and November 2012 – February 2013). He has curated exhibitions with blaxTARLINES KUMASI, KNUST, most prominent being “Cornfields in Accra”, (2016) and “Orderly Disorderly”, (2017). He has recently completed a PhD Studio in Painting and Sculpture at the College of Art and Built Environment, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi. Akoi-Jackson has currently joined the faculty in the Department of Painting and Sculpture, KNUST with particular interest in moments of disruption that have revolutionary potential in contemporary art practice. Akoi-Jackson participates in a panel discussion themed “Spectacles. Speculations: In Terms of Images”.
Agyeman Ossei (b.1961)
Agyeman Ossei’s cross-disciplinary practice examines the linkage between the symbolic, semiotic and metaphysical in art. He dialogically relates painting, collage and sculpture as mediums of expanding Asante linguistic proverbial and philosophical ideas. His works celebrate cultural classics (literature, poetry, etc) and memorializes them through carving, modeling, painting and drama. He has translated and adapted literary works into theatre plays: notably “The Beautyful Ones are Not Yet Born” (2006) and “Osiris Rising” (2017) by the poet, novelist and scholar Ayi Kwei Armah. Ossei has served as artistic director for Abibigromma theater group, University of Ghana, Legon (2005-2009), Ag. Executive Director of the National Theater of Ghana (April 2012 to March 2014) and Head of Department of Theater Arts at the University of Ghana, Legon from 1st August 2014 until his voluntary retirement in 2017. In 2017 he participated in the contemporary art exhibition “Orderly Disorderly” organized by blaxTARLINES KUMASI at the Museum of Science & Technology in Accra.
For the exhibition, the video recording of his play production “Osiris Rising” will be screened.