DEPART FOUNDATION IN MALIBU VILLAGE
3822 Cross Creek Rd, Suite 3844, Malibu, CA 90265
January 27 – February 28, 2018
A GROUP EXHIBITION FEATURING 22 CONTEMPORARY AFRICAN ARTISTS
Curated by Valerie Kabov and Sylvester Okwunodu Ogbechie
IGSHAAN ADAMS, TAKUNDA REGIS BILLIAT, SERGE ATTUKWEI CLOTTEY, PAA JOE, TURIYA MAGADLELA, TROY MAKAZA, WALLEN MAPONDERA, MOSTAFF MUCHAWAYA, WYCLIFFE MUNDOPA, TENDAI MUPITA, MONGEZI NCAPHAYI, SIMPHIWE NDZUBE, OPTION NYAHUNZVI, GARETH NYANDORO, GRESHAM TAPIWA NYAUDE, LYDIA OURAHMANE, YAW OWUSU, CAMERON PLATTER, JULIO RIZHI, NICOLA ROOS, LADY SKOLLIE, AND MOFFAT TAKADIWA
Beginning with artists from Southern African and edging North and West, Right at the Equator opens the door to the remarkable talent emerging from Africa and aims to expose a new audience to work by artists who equally challenge both the way things are and the way they appear to be.
A globalized art world makes it relatively easy to discover works from the farthest corners of the world, simply through the touch of a screen. As a result, it is easy to not question or to seek to understand the context in which art is made and what makes it possible. And yet, when works come from outside a familiar cultural and geographic domain, understanding the life and socio-cultural context of an artist is imperative to understanding the content and the possibilities of that artwork.
Right at the Equator is an exhibition that is built upon a commitment to understand and support emerging artists across Africa; artists living in places where ordinary rules of infrastructure, services, and other accommodations that artists in the West take for granted do not apply. While recognizing the artists’ living realities, this presentation side-steps parochial concerns and paternalism, situating all of the artists first and foremost as important contemporary practitioners who merit recognition among their international peers.
These artists have a uniquely advantageous relationship with art history writ large.
“As contemporary and predominantly ‘born-free’ Africans they have an easy familiarity with the dominant [Western] canon. Unlike their Western peers who feel frequently burdened by the weight of history, these artists often do not need to break with, rebel against, compete with, nor defend any bastion of tradition. They are comfortable with their multiple locations in global space and share a fluid ability to move with unselfconscious awareness and to borrow from plural artistic, cultural, and historic traditions,” said Sylvester Okwunodu Ogbechie exhibition curator and Professor of Art History and Visual Cultures of Global Africa at UC Santa Barbara.
About the curators
Valerie Kabov is an art critic, curator, and educator with a focus on emerging art practices, audience engagement, and intercultural dialogue. Valerie is Editor-at-Large of Art Africa Magazine and Co-founder and Director of Education/International Projects at First Floor Gallery Harare, Zimbabwe’s leading contemporary art gallery and educational platform for supporting emerging art in Zimbabwe and beyond.
Sylvester Okwunodu Ogbechie (Ph.D. Northwestern University) is Professor of Art History and Visual Cultures of Global Africa at the University of California Santa Barbara. He is the founder and Editor of Critical Interventions: Journal of African Art History and Visual Culture, and Director of Aachron Knowledge Systems. His research focuses on modern and contemporary art African art, cultural informatics, and the arts and cultural patrimony of Africa and the African Diaspora in the age of globalization.
The exhibition is made possible by the generous support of David Altman and Jamestown, L.P.
David Altman is a South African born social entrepreneur, with education initiatives focused on skills and human development in the public sector in Southern Africa. For two decades, he was the Executive Director of the US Export Council working with Nelson Mandela’s first government and facilitating trade and investment between the US and Southern Africa. David is an avid supporter, patron, and collector of African Contemporary Art from across the continent.
Jamestown, L.P. was established in 1983 as an investment and management company focused on income-producing real estate in the United States. Over the last 35 years, Jamestown has expanded into a national, vertically integrated real estate operator. Jamestown’s capabilities include: acquisitions, capital markets, property management, asset management, retail leasing, design, sustainability and risk management.
Depart Foundation provides an alternative platform for creative experimentation and exploration, set within a global context, that thrives outside of conventional, cultural structures. The impact of its work can best be understood as the charting of new artistic destinations with every project and program it undertakes.
Since its founding in 2008, DEPART Foundation has served as a catalyst for the Italian art and cultural community, strengthening the dialogue between Italy and the international art world. DEPART Foundation has actively encouraged artistic production through sponsorship of young and established artists and the provision of space and resources conducive to research, production and exhibition of new work, and to the presentation of educational and public programs.
Some of the most interesting and dynamic artists of our time, from around the world, have been presented for the first time in Rome by DEPART Foundation. They include Cory Arcangel, Joe Bradley, Nate Lowman, Ryan McGinley, Tauba Auerbach, Darren Bader, Louis Eisner, Roe Ethridge, Sam Falls, Mark Flood, Elias Hansen, Brendan Lynch, Oscar Murillo, Sarah Braman, Seth Price, Jon Rafman, Stephen G. Rhodes, Amanda Ross-Ho, Sterling Ruby, Lucien Smith, Valerie Snobeck and Frances Stark.
Since 2014, DEPART Foundation Los Angeles has presented solo exhibitions for Gabriele de Santis, Kour Pour, Grear Patterson, Petra Cortright, Mark Horowitz, Giorgio Andreotta Calo, Cameron Platter, Edward S. Curtis, Ulay, and Michael Pybus, Chase Hall and the group show Seasick in Paradise curated by Amy Yao.