Exploring the generative slippages between contemporary art, photography, fashion, object and furniture design, architecture and urbanism, FORUM London 2016 sought to demonstrate the influence and confluence of African perspectives in contemporary art and design with that of diverse aesthetics and material practices around the world. As part of a wide appraisal of interdisciplinary material practice, FORUM investigated the proliferation of contemporary channels and modes of distribution – from the Internet to the various self-organising strategies afforded by the digital. This meant addressing how resources themselves are being repurposed and how artists and designers are responding to these shifts within ‘material’ or ‘immaterial’ classifications. FORUM is curated by Koyo Kouoh (Artistic Director, Raw Material Company, Dakar).

FORUM Film, a curated series of film screenings, comprised of four sections: ‘Profile'; ‘Video and Performance'; ‘Design and Cultural Production'; ‘Architecture and Research'; with works by Maurice Mbikayi, Rashid Ali and Andrew Cross, NLÉ, Zohra Opoku, Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum, Jackie Karuti, Longinos Nagila and Mohau Modisakeng.

Thursday 6 October

12.00 – 13.00

FORUM Film

13.00 – 13.15

Opening remarks: Koyo Kouoh (Curator of FORUM): Material propositions

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13.30 – 14.30

Keynote: Dandyism and Black Masculinity
Ekow Eshun (cultural commentator and curator of the exhibition Made You Look: Dandyism and Black Masculinitydiscusses themes of race, identity and style as radical personal politics in the work of artists such as Samuel Fosso, Malick Sidibé and Hassan Hajjaj.

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15.00 – 16.00

Artist talk
Serge Attukwei Clottey in conversation with Nana Oforiatta Ayim (Creative Director of Gallery 1957, Accra and Founding Director of cultural research initiative, ANO).

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16.30 – 17.30

Artist talk: Rediscovering the ordinary
Michele Mathison in conversation with Liese Van Der Watt (critic). Referencing South African writer Njabulo Ndebele’s injunction to rediscover the power of the ordinary, this conversation focuses on Mathison’s sculptural practice which shows us how the ordinary is intimately connected to and revealing of wider political circuits of labour and cultivation, of power, globalisation and migrancy.

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Friday 7 October

12.00 – 13.00

FORUM Film

13.30 – 14.30

Lecture: African design: locating ‘It’ and its constituents
Aaron Kohn (Executive Director, Museum of African Design, Johannesburg) with comments from Mark Rappolt (Editor-in-Chief, ArtReview).

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15.00 – 16.00

Artist talk: Without beginning or end
Joël Andrianomearisoa in conversation with Huguette Malamba (Programme Specialist & Director of Diversity and Cultural Development, l’Organisation internationale de la Francophonie).
This conversation is in French with English interpretation

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16.30 – 17.30

Discussion: Waveforms
Princess Alia Al-Senussi (academic and patron) in conversation with Phoebe Boswell (artist) and Ifeanyi Oganwu (architect, designer and Director at Expand Design Ltd, London). This discussion pivots around Boswell and Oganwu’s collaborative project for the 1:54 Lounge and bookshop, and more broadly, their approach to interdisciplinary practice.

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Saturday 8 October

12.00 – 13.00

FORUM Film

13.30 – 14.45

Discussion: Why Design Matters
This discussion considers how objects and postdesign ideals formulate contemporaneity of the pan African aesthetic in a globalised world. Chaired by Azu Nwagbogu (Founding Director, African Artists’ Foundation, Lagos and LagosPhoto Festival) with Amelie Klein (Curator, Vitra Design Museum, Weil am Rhein) and artists Karo Akpokiere and Hassan Hajjaj.

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15.15 – 16.45

Discussion: ‘Antidisciplinarity’ in architecture
A discussion examining some of the sociopolitical, cultural and urban conditions that underpin design and collaborative practice. Architecture in Africa is changing the way we look at the continent and architects are more often than ever being asked to solve problems beyond their domain. Chaired by Aaron Kohn (Executive Director, Museum of African Design, Johannesburg) with Kunlé Adeyemi (Founding Director, NLÉ, Amsterdam), Rashid Ali (Founding Director, Rashid Ali Architects, London) and artist Driss Ouadahi.
Part of this conversation is in French with English interpretation

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17.15 – 18.15

Discussion: Africa in practice: an architectural dialogue
Aaron Kohn (Executive Director, Museum of African Design, Johannesburg) in conversation with Glenn DeRoche (Project Lead for Africa Projects, Adjaye Associates, London). DeRoche has worked on projects in North America, Europe, and Africa. Based in London, he now oversees projects across Africa and has worked on opening an office in Accra. Global firms like Adjaye Associates are (re)turning to Africa in different capacities which means a new practice for many.

Sunday 9 October

12.00 – 13.00

FORUM Film

13.30 – 14.30

Discussion: Malick Sidibé: The People’s Photographer, a Malian Legend
On the occasion of Malick Sidibé’s first major UK exhibition, Kerryn Greenberg (Curator, International Art at Tate Modern) leads a discussion with André Magnin (Director of MAGNIN-A and author of the first monograph of Malick Sidibé) on the artist’s work and legacy.
Part of this conversation is in French with English interpretation

Listen

15.00 – 16.30

Book launch & screening: Nana Oforiatta Ayim: Agbako: Untold
The launch of ANO’s Limited Edition Books on Arts & Culture. A film and book on new museum and architectural models for a Ghanaian, and for wider African contexts. This edition is designed by young architect and artist Latifah Idriss, and supported by Gallery 1957.

 

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