UNLOOKING: Edem Dotse Explores the Global Scramble for African Art

Edem Dotse brings "Unlooking", a visual art installation and performance to CHALE WOTE 2016.

EDEM DOTSE is one helluva creative swiss army knife. He’s a music producer, composer, rapper, writer and filmmaker, and in many ways, a futurist just like his brother, Jonathan of AfroCyberPunk fame (who featured in CHALE WOTE 2015).

Performing under the moniker DVXDM, his music is a blend of techno, EDM, soul, jazz, hip hop, orchestra and laid back, feel good vibes.

He screened a wonderful film at the CHALE WOTE LABS last year titled Steam Iron, that was not only visually pleasing, but an aha moment where you could not deny Edem’s creativity and simplicity in storytelling, directing and characterization. The film also displayed a potent writing skill that Ghana’s film industry is sorely without.

According to Edem, he sees filmmaking and installation art as a means to merge all his creative pursuits. His upcoming installation piece at CHALE WOTE 2016 is titled Unlooking and explores African identity, representation, expectation and success in the modern art world:

Unlooking is a visual art installation and performance that explores the notion of responsibility in the work of African content creators who are telling the stories of the marginalized/underrepresented.

 

Much like the imaginative simplicity of the Steam Iron film, Unlooking relies on an unassuming object – a keyhole – to provide a lens to explore how African artists and consumers of art engage with one another and to interrogate the motivations that shape these relations. Edem embeds a critique of “the global village” within the project, stating that Unlooking sprang up, “in the wake of a surge in African art popularity in the global north”. 

According to Edem, he is “inspired by legendary West African filmmakers like Abderrahmane Sissako and Djibril Diop Mambéty. I help to forge a new cinematic language that speaks to and reflects contemporary Ghana with my work.” 

 

Discussing the connection between Unlooking and Spirit Robot, Edem says:

It depicts the yin-yang struggle between an artist’s desire to create meaningful work with unhindered self-expression (Spirit) and the oppressive forces that both openly and subversively oppose this (Robot).

This is, in many ways, a follow up to last year‘s film – a peep through the window – while Edem’s 2016 installation will be a walk through the front door and a look around the house.

What new Ghanaian inspired realities is this producer, filmmaker and writer set to unveil through his installation at CHALE WOTE? Find out firsthand by checking out EDEM DOTSE’s project on August 20-21st in James Town at the car park between James Town Post Office and Ghana Customs building.

 

By KADI YAO TAY

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