As part of the Africa Season 2020, Angola-based freelance curators Suzana Sousa and Odile Burluraux, curator at the Musée d’Art Moderne de Paris (MAM), have chosen for exhibition at MAM a group of works by sixteen women artists from various English – and Portuguese – speaking African countries or the diaspora. The result is an insight into an African contemporary art scene rarely presented in France.
‘The Power of My Hands’ tells us how artists can use their personal histories to address the social issues that govern the condition of women today. Examining a range of themes – the body, sexuality, self-representation, motherhood, beliefs – the exhibition asks how, for Black women, attitudes to privacy reveal what goes unsaid and their relationship with the world. It does this via an intermingling of the notions of memory, family, spirituality and imagination.
The works on display – including paintings, pottery, photographs, videos, performances and needlework – celebrate the liberating energy of the power of their hands.
Even if some of these artists make no claim to feminist or radical political stances, the exhibits enable the sharing of individual experiences whose collective, universal assertion chimes resonantly with the famous 1970s slogan the personal is political.
With works by: Stacey Gillian Abe, Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Gabrielle Goliath, Kudzanai-Violet Hwami, Keyezua, Lebohang Kganye, Kapwani Kiwanga, Senzeni Marasela, Grace Ndiritu, Wura-Natasha Ogunji, Reinata Sadimba, Lerato Shadi, Ana Silva, Buhlebezwe Siwani, Billie Zangewa, Portia Zvavahera.
Artist Wura-Natasha Ogunji has been invited to present three works from the programme at Threehouse, her alternative art space based in Lagos, Nigeria.
This exhibition adds to the Musée d’Art Moderne’s long tradition of regularly presenting women artists. It is part of Africa Season 2020’s Focus Femmes and is backed by the Agence Française de Développement and JCDecaux.
The exhibition can be viewed from the 19th of May until the 22nd of August 2021 at Musée d’Art Moderne de Paris. Round tables, a series of performances and a programme of videos are further features of the exhibition.