Orderly Disorderly (2017) completes the trilogy of large scale end-of-year exhibitions held by blaxTARLINES KUMASI, the contemporary art incubator and project space of KNUST, in collaboration with Ghana Museums and Monuments Board (GMMB) and its subsidiary, the Museum of Science and Technology (MST) in Accra. The exhibition features works by fresh graduates, alumni, and guest artists (living and dead). The previous two exhibitions — The Gown Must Go to Town… (2015) and Cornfields in Accra (2016) — honored Dr. Kwame Nkrumah and Ama Ata Aidoo respectively. “Cornfields” also honored the memory of Cameroonian conceptual artist Goddy Leye (1965-2011). Orderly Disorderly shares and celebrates the political vision of artist and educator Professor Ablade Glover who mobilized artists toward economic emancipation within a hopeless artistic milieu in the early 1990s when Ghana’s cultural institutions had been famished of domestic and international support.
Intergenerational conversations, collective curating and accessibility programming are vital to the curatorial model adopted by blaxTARLINES KUMASI during this series of exhibitions. blaxTARLINES actively collaborates with GMMB and MST in programming and curating to incorporate artefacts in their permanent collection into its exhibitions. The terms of the exhibition trilogy were set by “Silence between the Lines” in 2015 based on a deliberate misreading of the Sankɔfa legend by karî’kạchä seid’ou. In this new reading, the Sankɔfa bird unfastens its customary anchor of nostalgia and “attempts to grasp what it might have forgotten from futures that are to come”. This summarizes the new spirit of the Kumasi Art School which would be interpreted as anagrams of emancipated futures.
Orderly Disorderly combines the political attitudes and principles underlying Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami’s practice — notably The Bread and the Alley (1970), Orderly or Disorderly (1981) and The Chorus (1982) — and seid’ou’s emancipatory art pedagogy. Kiarostami is reputed for his deliberate use of non-actors and unprofessional crew to produce very significant films. His vital efforts to intervene in the film form saw him subvert conventions of filmmaking in order to transform and reinvent the medium. This spirit aligns with that which animates contemporary art production in the Department of Painting and Sculpture (KNUST, Kumasi). seid’ou’s egalitarian and emancipatory teaching practice “encourages student artists and other young artists to work in the spirit of finding alternatives to the bigger picture which excluded their voices but paradoxically by first becoming an anamorphic stain in the bigger picture itself.” This typifies his politics of ironic overidentification.
With this background the exhibition reflects on the status of art in the early decades of the 21st century. The exhibition posits art as a site of multiplicity. Art that is de-substantialized and emerges from a void: a state of indifference that is not pre-emptively prejudicial to any particular medium, content, skill, material, trend or process. If anything can be said to be art today it must necessarily be invented.
There are important analogies to be drawn from the artistic and political indifference espoused by the curatorial team of Orderly Disorderly, and the state of hopelessness and indifference experienced by sufferers and witnesses of the current global crises of public commons (refugee crisis, economic precarity, threats of ecological crisis in the epoch of anthropocene, new forms of apartheid emerging as invisible walls in the public sphere, gentrification of digital space and intellectual property, etc). As a response, the exhibition features a generic participant, ‘The Unknown Artist’. This character embodies the void, the disavowed, which haunts the consistency of exhibition projects operating within the finitude of contemporary capitalist processes but disavowing the precarity they leave behind.
Orderly Disorderly countenances diverse multi-site projects extending from MST into the city of Accra and further into virtual spaces — straddling human-centered and posthuman, art and non-art practices alike — by over 90 artists, including seminars, outreach programs, art talk events and a body of archives of the Kumasi School among which are manuscripts of poems authored by Uche Okeke. The exhibition invites its audience to deal with the contradictions that are constitutive of their everyday lives.
Kwasi Ohene-Ayeh and Curatorial Team.
(BFA 2017, selected): Mawuenya Amudzi; Praises Adu Benhene; Esther Anokye; Paul Sagoe & Felicia Oduro (Collective); Andrews Kpakpo Allotey; Larry Adorkor; Emmanuel Arhin; Eurica Ansah; John Ofosu Mensah; Richmond Amo-Appiah; Larry Akumah; Abraham Nsoh Abene; Amanda Agyekum; Samuel Baah Kortey; Ama Sefa; Yvonne Akweley Nortey; Prosper Setsoafia; Angelina Mensah; Benjamin Safo; Eberhard Ofori; Bernice Dzifa Djokoto; David Agbeko; Eugene Mensah; Jeffrey Owusu Peprah; Ernest Frimpong; Grace Gbedife; Aboagye Da Costa; Nana Yaw Asare Bediako; Fred Botchway; Tracy Thompson; Priscilla Kennedy; Asiedu William; Rosemary Esinam Damalie; Elikem Quist; Prince Oduro; Caleb Prah; Lydia Mensah; Georgina Fynn; Francis Nii Addo Quaye; Jeffrey Amoako; Earl Davis; Kevin Abankwah; Percy Nii Nortey; Nuna Adisenu-Doe; Olympio Romildo; Daniel Mensah; Henry Ofori; Bernice Ameyaw; Vincent Mensah; Andrews McCarthy; Sandra Adu Agyeiwaa; Mary Dame; Ameen Farouk Ameen; Abena Agyapomaa; Emmanuel Abalo; Prince Owusu Bempah; King George Yeboah; Michael Akuoko.
Alumni: Daniel Osei Poku; Akwasi Afranie Bediako; Nicholas Ofori; Samiratu Moro Abdulai; Elvis Nsiah; Adjo Kisser; Elolo Bosoka; Theresa Ankomah; Silas Mensah; Livingstone Amoako; Geoffrey Akpene Biekro (Captain’s Kitchen); Kelvin Haizel; William Duku; Va-Bene Elikem Fiatsi; Benjamin Okantey; Henry Obeng; Jonathan Okoronkwo; Lois Arde-Acquah; Kwame Asante Agyare; Adwoa Konadu Antwi Boasiako; Samuel Boateng; Edward Buxton; Armiyaw Suleman; Shimawuda Ziorkley; Makafui Gadikor; Simon Bowman; Frank Kofi Gyabeng
Special Guest Artists: Ablade Glover; Sylvanus Kwami Amenuke; Patrick Tagoe Turkson; Kwabena Afriyie Poku; Eugene Edzorho; Afia Prempeh Sarpong; Bright Ackwerh; Dorothy Akpene Amenuke; Edwin Bodjawah; Ibrahim Mahama; Agyeman Ossei; Kofi Winston Gale Dawson; Gideon Appah; Deryk Owusu Bempah; Selasi Awusi Sosu; Dickson Artoqui; K.K. Broni; The Unknown artist
Artistic Directors: kąrî’kạchä seid’ou; Kwaku Boafo Kissiedu; George Ampratwum
Curators: Bernard Akoi-Jackson; Kwasi Ohene-Ayeh (IUB); Mavis Tetteh-Ocloo; Selom Kudjie; Patrick Nii Okanta Ankrah
Guest Curators: Kofi Adjei; Kezia Owusu-Ankomah
Exhibition Construction and Logistics Team
John Aganda; Francis Djiwornu; Elvis Nsiah; Elolo Bosoka; Benjamin Okantey; Joshua Glorkpor; Mawuenya Amudzi; Issah Alhassan
Edwin Bodjawah; Michael Adashie; Kwame Opoku Bonsu, Eyram Donkor; Felix Annor Anim; Mantey Jectey-Nyarko
Media and Publicity
Alvin Ashiatey; Nana Osei Kwadwo; Mardey Ohui Ofoe; Rosemary Esinam Damalie; Henry Ofori; Selasi Awusi Sosu; Daniel Mensah (Sky Scraper); Awuni Mustapha; Nuna Adisenu-Doe; Elikem Va-Bene Fiatsi; Percy Nii Nortey; Percy Duncan; John Owoo
Geoffrey Biekro and Captain’s Kitchen; Adwoa Ntiamoah; Adelaide Dadzie
MST/GMMB Security Staff: WO 1 George Partey (Chief Security); Samuel Agbenyo; Issaka Sofo Sumaila; Augustine Hayibor; John Asoore; Emmanuel Amanor; Akudingba Amoah
MST/GMMB Grounds and Sanitation Staff: Patience Owusuwaa; Agnes Asaah; Azimi Agadama Bila; Kojo Asaketikor; Daniel Asorkor
blaxTARLINES KUMASI Team.
Ghana Museums and Monuments Board; Museum of Science and Technology, Accra; Department of Theater Arts, UG, Legon; Openemma Productions; Foundation for Contemporary Art, Ghana (FCA); The Studio, Accra
Special Guests: Ama Ata Aidoo; Prof. Kwasi Obiri-Danso (The Vice Chancellor, KNUST); Prof. Ablade Glover
Special Guest of Honour: Prof. El Anatsui
Support: Mrs. Naana Ocran (GMMB); Mahmoud Malik Saako (MST); Edwin Bodjawah; Kofi Winston Gale Dawson; Dorothy Amenuke; Michael Adashie; Gilbert Amegatcher; Kwabena Afriyie Poku; Kwame Opoku Bonsu; Ibrahim Mahama; Sandra Bruku (GMMB); Ato Annan; Adwoa Amoah; Openemma Productions; Abdul Karim Hakib (Department of Theater Arts, UG, Legon); William Gmayi Nsuiban (GMMB); Eric Nana Fredua (MST); Kofi Buanya-Mensah (MST); Theo Annor Adetu (Artists’ Alliance Gallery, Accra); Staff of GMMB and MST; Mrs. Agnes Broni and Estate of K. K. Broni
Legal Consultants: Reuben Agbelengor Glover; Dennis Aryeetey
Funding: Friends of blaxTARLINES and Department of Painting and Sculpture, KNUST.