We are putting up selected works from August’s CHALE WOTE Street Art Festival for the October edition of Dzala Butiq, our quarterly art sale and exhibition. The exhibition presents a cross-section of featured artists from the festival whose work engage the complexities of African identity and representation as well as ideological battles over religion, memory and politics. The art works each uniquely speak to Spirit Robot, the festival’s theme.
The two-day fair will also showcase DJ sets, film screenings and music performances inside Brazil House in James Town from 1-9pm. The event is free and open to the public so come and support Ghana artists.
CHALE WOTE 2016 was the first time we truly shone a light on digital art. In Ghana, digital art has had a long history within the commercial advertising sector but nowadays things are shifting. Digital art is fast becoming a platform to activate social dissent, invoke radical imagination, and innovate new possibilities for expression. We saw this happening at the festival with the thought-provoking work of Bright Ackwerh, Nyahan Tachie-Menson, Awo Tsegah and Russian illustrator, Olga Lolo.
Below, some of the artists who will be featured at Dzala Butiq share what their work is all about.
My work dwells on the idea of taking already existing pieces of art and deconstructing these things to create my own art. I work with materials that people are actively trying to throw away, as well as pieces people currently praise as art pieces on their own. I explore autonomy in the art world, and in the world in general, and how we use this autonomy.
Spirit Robot to me meant the ability to create, to invent and innovate, particularly on the African continent, and more specifically, Ghana. Spirit Robot meant the ability to take what we have, to draw from our ancient systems of knowledge and create relevant things for today. Nyahan is currently studying at the Parsons School of Design in New York
We all are Spirit Robots guided by forces and rules we often have no idea about. We are more than we think we are, greater than we can ever imagine, plugged into the core of the universe and connected to each other so we all are one and should never forget it.Olga lives and works in Moscow.
Awo Tsegah’s work exposes layers and contrasts within the context of contemporary, post-colonial history and politics. Her creations are reflective pop art explorations of freedom and question social reality through image rebuilding.
My Spirit Robot project explores our recurrent struggle with ownership and our place in time. Awo also works as a design consultant in Accra.
Due to the current and endemic deletion of (Black) women from public history, this project is a speculation into a future library that documents the existence of (black) women. A library experience of Black (mostly African) womanhood. It’s designed to disrupt, activate, or at least question certain tropes used to sideline and silence the (black) female in society and erase our existence and achievements.
This is a robotic act in defiance of the historicization of African women so far within our own spirits.
Awuor is based in Nairobi.