Through an African Lens: Strauss & Co announces sponsorship and event guide to 2024 Venice Biennale

8 Apr 2024

VENICE – On Tuesday, 16 April 2024, a generous abundance of African creative talent – including artists and curators directly involved in the official programme for the 60th Venice Biennale – will contribute their knowledge and insight to the African Art in Venice Forum (AAVF 2024). Established in 2017, the AAVF is a public and free discursive platform held biannually during the opening week of the Venice Biennale.

Presented by African Art Dialogues in collaboration with Strauss & Co and Africa No Filter, AAVF 2024 will be held at the Hotel Monaco and Grand Canal, Venice. 

Participants in this year’s daylong programme include artist Euridice Zaituna Kala(Passengers in Transit collateral exhibition) and curators Simon Njami (Ivory Coast Pavilion) and Akaye Kerunen (Ugandan Pavilion). Other confirmed speakers include artists NtshepeBopapeEmmanuel Ndefo and Tyna Adebowale. To mark the strong presence of African modernists at this year’s Venice Biennale, curator and writer Heba El Kayal will engage Frank Kilbourn, Executive Chairperson, Strauss & Co, in a focused discussion.

Kate Fellens, Head of International Business Development, Strauss & Co, says: “This is an auspicious year for African art, with a total of 13 African countries presenting official national pavilions at the 2024 Venice Biennale. It is the largest-ever participation by African nations in this acclaimed event’s 129-year history. Additionally, works by 54 modern and contemporary artists from more than a dozen African countries – among them auction trailblazers Inji Efflatoun, Ben Enwonwu, George Pemba, Maggie Laubser, Gerard Sekoto and Irma Stern – willappear in curator Adriano Pedrosa’s main curated exhibition, Stranieri Ovunque – Foreigners Everywhere.”

Kate Fellens adds: “As Africa’s premier auction house, we are committed to providing the public with opportunities to discover, learn, discuss, explore and exchange information related to modern and contemporary art from Africa and its diasporas. The programme for AAVF 2024 perfectly fulfils this important educational role. Additionally, Strauss & Co has produced a handy downloadable visitor guide that aggregates details about all the art exhibitions featuring African and diasporic artists.”

The AAVF 2024 will be held on Tuesday, 16 April 2024 at Hotel Monaco and Grand Canal, Venice. The order of events is as follows:

8:30 am – Breakfast reception hosted by Strauss & Co (RSVP essential)

10:00 am – Opening remarks by African Art Dialogues

10:15 am – “Catalysts of Change: Shaping the Venice Biennale from the African Continent”, panel with speakers Simon Njami (Curator, Ivory Coast Pavilion), Akaye Kerunen (Curator, Ugandan Pavilion) and Georgia Harrell (Director, Black Rock Senegal), moderated by Janine Sytsma (Curator & Scholar)

11:45 pm – “What Should We Celebrate Now? Reimagining African Modernism”, conversation with Frank Kilbourn (Executive Chairperson, Strauss & Co) and Heba El Kayal (Curator &Writer)

1:15 pm – “Globalisto: A Philosophy in Flux, Acts of an Imbizo”, book launch with NtshepeBopape aka Mo Laudi (Artist, Curator, DJ, Writer) and Aurélie Voltz (Director, MAMC+)

2:00 pm – “Nomadic Voices: Asiko Art School and the Global Dialogue on Belonging”, panel with speakers Euridice Zaituna Kala (Artist), Igo Diarra (Founder and Director Galerie Médina), Emmanuel Ndefo (Artist & Researcher), Oyindamola Fakeye (Director Àsìkò Art School/ Centre for Contemporary Art Lagos) and Tyna Adebowale (Artist), moderated by Dolly Kola Balogun (Founder & Creative Director Retro Africa) 

4:15 pm – “The Missing Link: East Africa Modernism Reviewed”, panel with speakers MiftaZeleke (Curator & Scholar), Muhunyo Maina (Scholar), George Kyeyune (Scholar), moderated by Beatrix Gassmann de Sousa (Curator & Scholar)

For further information on AAVF 2024: www.aavforum.com / @aavforum 

For further information on Strauss & Co: www.straussart.co.za / @strauss_and_co


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