Group Exhibition featuring:
Yto Barrada | Kiluanji Kia Henda | Grada Kilomba
Kapwani Kiwanga | Zineb Sedira | Sue Williamson
Goodman Gallery presents Unbind, an exhibition of key works by a selection of artists living in Angola and South Africa alongside diasporic artists with ancestral roots in Tanzania, Algeria and Morocco - bringing together a chorus of influential international voices all with significant ties to the African continent. Featured works provide a variety of perspectives on Africa’s inherited colonial past, with artists like Zineb Sedira drawing on powerful visual strategies, known as joyful resistance, for processing this past in the present and for unshackling from its bind.
Featured artists have prominent international moments happening around the world. Kapwani Kiwanga has just opened a major solo exhibition at the Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg (16 Sept 2023 - 7 Jan 2024) and is soon to represent Canada at the forthcoming Venice Biennale; Zineb Sedira’s Dreams Have No Titles is currently on view on New York’s High line and she has a survey exhibition at London’s Whitechapel Gallery in 2024; Grada Kilomba co-curated the highly anticipated 2023 São Paulo Art Biennial (6 Sept -10 Dec); Kiluanji Kia Henda’s work is a centrepiece in the recently opened Tate exhibition A World in Common: Contemporary African Photography (until 14 January 2024); and Sue Williamson’s acclaimed joint exhibition with Lebohang Kganye took place at The Barnes Foundation in the US earlier this year.
The centrepiece of the exhibition is by French Algerian artist Zineb Sedira - For a Brief Moment the World was on Fire, which makes its South African debut. The work comprises a series of colourful photomontages featuring archival media that highlights the Pan-African Festival and further encapsulates the inspiration of the Algerian nation at the spearhead of independence movements in Africa. This body of work expands on the artist’s career-long exploration of the archive as a device to expose, reconsider and challenge history.
Z I N E B S E D I R A
Zineb Sedira’s (b. 1963 Paris, France) work has enriched the debate around the concepts of modernism, modernity and its manifestations in an inclusive way for over the fifteen years of her practice. She has also raised awareness of artistic expression and the contemporary experience in North Africa.
She found inspiration initially in researching her identity as a woman with a singular personal geography. From these autobiographical concerns she gradually shifted her interest to more universal ideas of mobility, memory and transmission. Full of her fascination for the relationship between mother and daughter, her vidéo Mother Tongue (2002), depicts three generations of women and raises the issue of transmission in a globalized world.
Y T O B A R R A D A
Yto Barrada (Moroccan, French, b.1971, Paris) studied history and political science at the Sorbonne and photography in New York. Her work — including photography, film, sculpture, prints and installations, — began by exploring the peculiar situation of her hometown Tangier. Her work has been exhibited at Tate Modern (London), MoMA (New York), The Renaissance Society (Chicago), Witte de With (Rotterdam), Haus der Kunst (Munich), Centre Pompidou (Paris), Whitechapel Gallery (London), and the 2007 and 2011 Venice Biennale.
The Greenbook 1961 is a suite of 52 framed works. The source material comes from the 1961 issue of The Traveler’s Green Book; an annual state-by-state listing printed from 1936-1966. The publication served as a resource for African-American motorists travelling across the USA providing safe at which to stop whether they be lodgings, restaurants, or service stations. Kiwanga focuses on 1961,the year in which the Freedom Riders, a group of civil rights activists rode public interstate buses from Washington D.C. into the south to challenge the unconstitutional standard of keeping public buses segregated. Kiwanga erases information from archival scans with the exception of the state name and address. The resulting prints generate a minimal topography of a particular space and time.
K A P W A N I K I W A N G A
Kapwani Kiwanga (b. Hamilton, Canada) lives and works in Paris. Kiwanga studied Anthropology and Comparative Religion at McGill University in Montreal and Art at l’école des Beaux-Arts de Paris.
Kapwani Kiwanga is a Franco-Canadian artist based in Paris. Kiwanga’s work traces the pervasive impact of power asymmetries by placing historic narratives in dialogue with contemporary realities, the archive, and tomorrow’s possibilities. Her work is research-driven, instigated by marginalised or forgotten histories, and articulated across a range of materials and mediums including sculpture, installation, photography, video, and performance. Kiwanga co-opts the canon; she turns systems of power back on themselves, in art and in parsing broader histories. In this manner Kiwanga has developed an aesthetic vocabulary that she described as “exit strategies,” works that invite one to see things from multiple perspectives so as to look differently at existing structures and find ways to navigate the future differently.
A Few South Africans, created in 1980s South Africa in an attempt to make visible the history of women who had made an impact on the struggle for liberation. The ‘Few’ in the title referred to the fact that the subjects of the portraits represented a small number of the many thousands of women who were involved in this struggle. During these turbulent years, news and photographs of these leaders never appeared in the white dominated press, so little was known about them. For this series, the artist took many of the portrait photos on which the photo-etchings are based and others were sourced from banned books in university libraries. Williamson placed her subject, who often gazes directly at the viewer, in the centre of the image, a centrality designed to give each woman the status of a heroine.
S U E W I L L I A M S O N
Sue Williamson (b. 1941, Lichfield, UK) emigrated with her family to South Africa in 1948. In the 1970s, Williamson started to make work which addressed social change and by the late 1980s she was well known for her series of portraits of women involved in the country’s political struggle, titled A Few South Africans (1980s).
Major international solo exhibitions include: Can’t Remember, Can’t Forget at the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg (2017); Other Voices, Other Cities at the SCAD Museum of Art in Georgia, USA (2015), Messages from the Moat, Den Haag, Netherlands (2003) and The Last Supper Revisited (2002) at the National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C. Williamson has participated in biennales around the world, including the Kochi Muziris Biennale (2019); several Havana Biennales as well as Sydney, Istanbul, Venice and Johannesburg biennales. Group exhibitions include, Resist: the 1960s Protests, Photography and Visual Legacy (2018) at BOZAR in Brussels; Women House (2017, 2018) at La Monnaie de Paris and National Museum for Women in the Arts (Washington D.C); Citizens: Artists and Society Tate Modern, London; Being There (2017) at Fondation Louis Vuitton (Paris) and Rise and Fall of Apartheid: Photography and the Bureaucracy of Everyday Life (2014) at the International Centre for Photography New York and the Museum Africa (Johannesburg), curated by Okwui Enwezor, and The Short Century (2001-2) also curated by Okwui Enwezor, Museum Villa Stuck, Munich, House of World Cultures, Berlin, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, and P.S.1 New York.