« Crossing Archives » – Goethe Institute, Lagos, Dec. 1, 2013

Photographic archives in African countries lying south of the Sahara have for some years been a focus of attention not only in international academic discussions but also for the global art market. At the same time, cultural collective visual memory in the period between the colonial era and the “postcolonial age” is increasingly being dealt with in artistic and curatorial practice. As the archives find their way into these different realms, the existing systems for organising and categorising them are not only being examined but in many cases energised too. This has given rise to new archives that conform to their own political and aesthetic parameters.

In light of these processes and perspectives, Crossing Archives will hold three panel discussions to address the photographic archives of various geopolitical areas in African countries south of the Sahara. Aside from discussions tackling the larger picture, there will be a specific thematic focus on the situation in Nigeria. This will be addressed in its own panel and complemented by presentations drawn from archival and conservatorial practice in state institutions and private initiatives.

The conference is organised by the Museum Folkwang, Essen, Germany, in cooperation with the Goethe-Institut, Lagos, and supported by the Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany, Lagos

This event is free.

Contact for further information and admission:
Goethe-Institut Nigeria
City Hall, Lagos Island, Lagos, Nigeria
Tel. +234 1 7746888
info@lagos.goethe.org
www.goethe.de/nigeria

Receptions by
Michael Derus, Consul General of the Federal Republic of Germany, Lagos
Marc-André Schmachtel, director, Goethe-Institut, Lagos
Hans-Jürgen Lechtreck, Museum Folkwang, Essen, Germany

Introductory remarks by Kerstin Meincke, curator of VoyageRetour, Museum Folkwang, Essen, Germany

Keynote by Okwui Enwezor, director, Haus der Kunst, Munich, Germany

Panelists (confirmed)
Mathieu Zana Aziza Etambala, historian, University of Leuven, Belgium
Chika Okeke-Agulu, art historian and curator, University of Princeton, New York
Bisi Silva, curator, Lagos, Nigeria
Santu Mofokeng, visual artist and collector, South Africa
Storm Janse Van Rensburg, curator and researcher, Johannesburg, South Africa/ Berlin, Germany
Etim Eyo, Nigeria Nostalgia Project, Lagos

Moderation
Frank Ugiomoh, University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria
Kerstin Meincke, Museum Folkwang, Essen, Germany

Concept
Kerstin Meincke, Museum Folkwang, Essen, Germany

Panel discussion: Photography, archives and international Relations

Panelists (confirmed)
Michael Derus, Consul General of the Federal Republic of Germany, Lagos
Hans Hielscher, picture editor, Deutsche Welle, Nigeria/ Der Spiegel, Hamburg, Germany
Marc-André Schmachtel, director, Goethe-Institut, Lagos

Concept
Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany, Lagos and the Goethe-Institut, Lagos

Ce colloque fait partie de l’exposition Voyage Retour :

VoyageRetour is the title of a new exhibition, the first to be staged by the Museum Folkwang in a country lying south of the Sahara. As part of the project, the Nigerian city of Lagos will host a show presenting pictures by the internationally renowned Nigerian photographer J. D. ’Okhai Ojeikere alongside works by Rolf Gillhausen, Germaine Krull, Robert Lebeck, Malick Sidibé and Wolfgang Weber drawn from the Museum Folkwang’s collection. VoyageRetour brings together images by European and African photographers that bear the unmistakable marks of the various sociopolitical conditions that channelled their expression. There is a particular focus here on the period of decolonisation. With a view to extending the frame of reference, the show also includes numerous allusions to the original contexts in which the exhibits were produced and received.

The exhibition’s venue, the federal government press building constructed in 1896 under the auspices of British colonial rule, can be seen as both a presentation space and one of the conceptual starting points of the project. Numerous relics from the past still evoke the building’s historical usage—it was used to house the state photographic archive into the mid-1990s and until ten years ago the official government gazettes were printed here—and these reminders are systematically incorporated into the exhibition’s concept and design. VoyageRetour picks up on this history and seeks to create a productive crossover space, intended as a platform for new discussions. The exhibition is designed with a particular eye to the specific conditions that pertain in the African countries south of the Sahara. It is against this background that a final colloquium will be held with an international panel discussing overarching questions relating to the perspective, function and significance of photographic archives for society and artistic practice.

An exhibition project presented by the Photography Department at the Museum Folkwang, Essen in cooperation with Goethe-Institut, Lagos, Nigeria.

The exhibition is sponsored by the German Federal Foreign Office.

(Source : le site du Museum Folkwang Essen)


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