BLACK STAR SERIES 2010
By Nii B. Andrews
The medium of photography (both still and moving) was not originally African.
Therefore it is always interesting when Africans turn the camera on themselves or other cultures.
Since the African experience is not monolithic, the results are perforce varied.
Secondly, Africans have had to face and transcend the images created by decades of colonial rule by constructing a novel/fresh visual language for the representation of a modern and hopefully resurgent Africa and it’s peoples.
Photography has been significant in most of the important changes that have occurred in art during the last hundred years.
Lately, artists have acquired great abilities for experimentation and the manipulation of reality, by using photography.
We can today say with confidence that African artists and photographers have shaped the medium constructively and are in the vanguard of modernist and postmodernist art practices.
A) THE COMMUNE
The two photographs shown above are from a huge private archive that documents the complexity of daily life across Ghana.
The archive records the rich diverse traditions of the country encompassing, “the personal, intimate gesture and the popular, the commercial and the political.”
“The Commune” captures the stark simplicity and functionality of sahelian architecture in a world in which two egoists flail at each other while each has his finger on the doomsday button.
In “Chillin’”, a sense of brooding melancholy permeates the composition, thus leaving us with either many questions or none whatsoever.
Do you collect photographs? Have you kept any of your childhood photos?
Do you like any of the photographs shown here ? Any particular reason?
If you are contemplating starting a collection of contemporary African art- and particularly photographs, this archive contains excellent aesthetic material that is easily engaging, hugely enjoyable and available at a very competitive price point.