"Unsettled" by Duende Art Projects, an exhibition mixing classical and contemporary African Art

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"Unsettled" by Duende Art Projects, an exhibition mixing classical and contemporary African Art
Installation view.

ANTWERP.- “Unsettled” is an ode to restlessness. What are humans if not always striving to become a better version of themselves? Restless souls are invariably moving, stretching themselves – and thereby others - in an active pursuit for impalpable aspirations. This continuous chase can go hand in hand with a passionate desire to express this unsettled state.

Artists are ahead of the pack, more sensible to changing norms and societal issues. They feel what’s to come and with their elevated perceptiveness and sensitivity they try to translate these dispositions into works of art. Artists challenge conventions with an open mind, beyond comfort zones, into a disruptive realm.

This exhibition wants to put art in the limelight that balances at this cutting edge, in line with Duende Art Projects’ ambition to give visibility to the previously unseen, highlighting artists that move art ahead. Art should unsettle, derail, inspire and move, as only in the state of being unsettled one can grow.

Works of art thus become rites of passage, transferring newfound perceptions to the public. Conveying knowledge was a fundamental aspect of many classical works from the African continent. In script-less societies, they were containers of meaning frequently used in contexts of change and progress such as the initiation of youth. Contemporary artists initiate as well; they search for new ways of expression, breaking free from solid grounds yet rooted in a strong foundation.

After the successfully acclaimed inaugural exhibition “Threads”, Duende Art Projects with “Unsettled” hopes to move its public and inspire them to new ways of perceiving art from the African continent.

Nine months in the making, I am very proud of the selection of Unsettled, which will include contemporary works by Beatrice Wanjiku (Kenya), Tuli Mekondjo (Namibia), Tewodros Hagos (Ethiopia), Mulugeta Tafesse (Ethiopia), Admire Kamudzengerere (Zimbabwe), Thierry Oussou (Republic of Benin), Mostaff Muchawaya (Zimbabwe), Aimé Mpane (D.R. Congo) and Lilian Mary Nabulime (Uganda), together with an exciting group of classical African Art including an important Ijo statue, a Kongo nail power figure, two janus Ekoi masks, a rediscovered Pende deformity mask, two Ibibio sickness masks, and much more.

To download the UNSETTLED catalog, please click here.

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