Explore 1:54 London's Special Projects for 2016

1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair
Jul 28, 2016 8:11PM

Malick Sidibé, Dansez le Twist, 1965 © Malick Sidibé, Courtesy of Galerie MAGNIN-A.

1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair announces its Special Projects line-up for its fourth and most extensive edition at Somerset House in London, 6–9 October.

Now in its third year, 1:54 Special Projects is a curated section of collaborative projects, exhibitions and innovative encounters taking place across the fair. 

Featured projects are:

Addis Foto Fest

The biannual photography festival directed by award-winning photographer Aida Muluneh will present PIE: Photography in Ethiopia. Alongside photographs by Muluneh (David Krut Projects), the exhibition will preview works by artists participating in the festival in Ethiopia in December 2016.

Alexandra Karakashian

Artist Alexandra Karakashian (SMAC Gallery) will exhibit PASSAGE, a site-specific installation, thematically rooted in Karakashian’s ongoing exploration of her family’s escape from the Armenian Genocide of 1915, migration through the African continent and eventual settling in Johannesburg. 


Bandjoun Station

The non-for-profit art centre created by artist Barthélémy Toguo in his hometown in Cameroon will present Mobile Cafeteria at 1:54. The cafeteria will be conceived on the model of the ‘tournedos cafés’ in Africa and will offer an opportunity to taste the coffee produced in Bandjoun. 


Worldwide FM by Gilles Peterson 

DJ, radio host and curator Gilles Peterson’s new global music-radio platform Worldwide FM will broadcast live from 1:54 for three days, incorporating DJs and musicians from the African diaspora, artist interviews and discussion. Artist Robi Walters will be presenting work in the broadcast room. 

Ibrahim El-Salahi 

One of the artist’s key works and one of the most important cultural responses to the Arab Spring, The Arab Spring Notebookwill be exhibited in a special project presented by Modern Forms and Floreat Group, 1:54’s main sponsor. Ibrahim El-Salahi is widely acknowledged as the godfather of African Modernism. In 2013, the Tate Modern staged a major retrospective of El-Salahi’s work, the first devoted by the museum to an African artist.

Ifeanyi Oganwu

Artist and designer Ifeanyi Oganwu (Expand Design Ltd) will collaborate with Galerie Armel Soyer, textile design firm Toghal and visual artist Phoebe Boswell on a group of works for the 1:54 Lounge, including the Contoured crater desk and bench. In 2015, the Vitra Design Museum included his Splice chair in the itinerant exhibition Making Africa: A Continent of Contemporary Design. 



In collaboration with Yellowwoods Art, Nando's will present works by four contemporary African artists: Regi Bardavid, Lizette Chirrime, Pat Mautloa and Maurice Mbikayi. Nando’s was founded in Johannesburg, South Africa in 1987 and its UK restaurants house one of the largest contemporary Southern African art collections in the world. 


Malick Sidibé

1:54 and Somerset House, in collaboration with MAGNIN-A Gallery, Paris, present Malick Sidibé (6 October–15 January 2017), the first major solo show in the UK of the late Malian photographer. The exhibition will present 45 original prints from the 1960s and 1970s around three central themes. Widely celebrated, Sidibé was the first photographer and first African artist, to receive a Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale in 2007. 


Revue Noire

The French publishing house dedicated to African art has been invited to curate a selection of photography books for the 1:54 Bookshop. The selected publications will include original prints. 


Zak Ové

For the first time, 1:54 is taking over the Edmond J. Safra Fountain Court at Somerset House, with an installation by the artist Zak Ové (Vigo Gallery). Inspired by, and in reaction to, the heritage of Somerset House and an early Jacobean era court masque, the Masque of Blackness. 

About 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair

With biannual editions in London and New York, 1:54 is the leading international art fair dedicated to contemporary art from Africa and its diaspora. 1:54 London 2016 will feature 40 carefully selected galleries from 18 countries, spotlighting works from over 110 African and African Diasporan artists. 

Drawing reference to the fifty-four countries that constitute the African continent, 1:54 is a sustainable and dynamic platform that is engaged in contemporary dialogue and exchange. 1:54will again be accompanied by FORUM, the fair’s extensive talks and events programme curated by Koyo Kouoh, Artistic Director of RAW Material Company, Dakar.

Advance tickets for 1:54 will be available online in September 2016. 

More info here

1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair