Due to the pandemic-related situation in Paris, the AKAA art fair has also been canceled two weeks before the planned opening. At this year's edition of the fair, the ARTCO gallery planned the presentation of three artists whose works had not yet been shown in Paris at the fair. Although the intellectual intentions and performing techniques of the artists are very different, the medium of photography plays a central role in all of them. Everyone reflects on the issues of origin and identity in very different ways in their own works.
Under the given circumstances, we can now only present the artists and their work digitally. We will start with an artist talk on the Zoom platform, to which we cordially invite everyone.
On Sunday, November 15th, 2020 at 4:00 p.m. Raquel van Haver, Toyin Loye and Imrann Christian will answer questions from the moderator Azu Nwagbogu, the founder and director of the Lagos Photo Festival.
Raquel van Haver was born in 1989 in Bogota, Colombia. At the center of our presentation at the AKAA are two large canvas works from the series THE SPIRT OF SOIL, which the artist created especially for this fair. This work cycle is a new sequence of figurative compositions in which Raquel van Haver processed her experiences and impressions on trips to Zimbabwe, Colombia, Trinidad and Tobago, Cuba, and other countries. These paintings are characterized by a very specific language of form and great material complexity. They are monumental, collage-like constructs that are applied layer by layer on sackcloth with plaster of paris, oil and spray paint, plastic, charcoal, tar, paper, ash, etc. In addition to paintings by Raquel van Haver, there are several large-format diasec photo collages from her A SHRINE OF DEITY series, which were created during a stay in Lagos, Nigeria. The collages on which these photographic works are based consist of photographs, drawings and paintings by the artist, which were supplemented with found objects from various materials, photographed and digitally revised. In these pictures, the viewer discovers street scenes, moments from everyday life in Nigeria. The messages it contains, the presentation of social, societal and economic problems, the effects of globalization and the economic exploitation of the countries of the southern hemisphere are unmistakable.
Toyin Loye was born in Nigeria in 1959 and studied fine arts at Obafemi Awolowo University in Ile Ife. His works have been exhibited in many solo and group exhibitions on all continents. The artist lives and works in The Hague, Netherlands. The works shown at the AKAA deal with the transfer of ancient rituals from African peoples to the present day. The artist uses self-made portrait photos of people living in Nigeria which he artistically reworked by hand. The characters carved into the skin served the members of the Yoruba ethnic group for social identification of the tribe or family. Loye's concern is to convey the meaning of dying practices and to relate them to today's ideals of beauty. For this purpose, he uses self-made portrait photos of people living in Nigeria which he artistically reworked by hand.
Imraan Christian, born in Cape Town, is a young South African photographer and filmmaker. He is an artist and activist at the same time and describes himself as "son often he soil". In recent years, in addition to his own series of works, he has worked on projects with i.a. UNICEF, CNN, BBC world services, Nike and Vogue Italia worked together. Christian achieved international fame with his documentation of the student unrest in South Africa in 2015/16. Current works from his new "Crown" series can be seen in the AKAA exhibition. With these photos it is important to him to honor the common ancestors and their connection to the cosmos. Drawings from various indigenous cultures show that the skin was darkened with pigments during a ritual to embody the dark depth of the cosmos.