“Worldmaking within Politics of Sight and Space ”
Anchored through the contested definition and experiences of locality – as it informs the spatial as well as material narratives of artworks present within the ARAK collection, this exhibition attempts to trace the life of selected artworks from their spaces of creation and showcase the less documented modes of practices that birthed them.
Through the work of outlining the arts ecosystem of three East African countries (Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda) and their diaspora, the exhibition focuses on what is particular about this triangular nexus, as it relates to the way artists produce work, the way they build/inhabit a studio, to how they form their networks.
When viewed through the splintered lens of East African locality, this exhibition attempts to connect the physical and metaphysical space where the art is made to the space the art is exhibited. In the process, breaking the imagined boundary between the sanitized white-cube and the informal artists’ studio of one of the least represented voices in shaping the narrative of global art movements.
Through rigorous and in-depth conversation with artists hailing from the three East African countries, the exhibition builds robust marginalia surrounding each artwork to cushion its presentation with the process of creating and making it. The showcase prioritizes experience-building that promotes authentic representation as well as exhaustive storytelling of one of the most obscure art scenes in the world. Within the process of focusing on these three east African countries, this exhibition establishes a forum facilitating a deeper and meaningful connection, revealing the lesser-known ties that exists among the selected localities.
Curated by Sara Abdu Bushra
Sarah Abdu Bushra is an Ethiopian curator of visual and performing arts exhibitions. She’s a co-founder of Contemporary Nights, an Addis Ababa based curatorial forum. In her creative research practice, Sarah works with performing artists looking at the body and its representations as a focal point of exploration and a metaphor to navigate Ethiopian and East African contemporary identity. Towards this end, she has written a book called, Movements Mean More, documenting traditional dances, navigating Ethiopia’s historical and cultural anchor and weaving its contemporary identity through movements.