The ARS 11 exhibition in Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma
in Helsinki investigates Africa in contemporary art. The exhibition features some 300 works by a total of 30 artists. The Kiasma Theatre also has a programme of ARS events and performances. In addition to artists living in Africa, the show also features others who live outside the continent, artists of African descent as well as Western artists who address African issues in their work.
The themes of the exhibition, such as migration, environmental problems and urban life are global, issues that affect us all. Memory, recollection and the simultaneous presence of different histories and layers of time are some of the common starting points of the work of many artists featured in the exhibition. At best ARS 11 can produce new understanding and also provide background information on the situation in todays Africa. The exhibition will extend the idea of what Africa, contemporary art and African contemporary art are today.
ARS 11 is a major international art event filling Kiasma with artworks, performances, screenings, discussions and workshops. The ARS 11 curator team are Pirkko Siitari, Director of Kiasma, Arja Miller, Chief Curator, and Jari-Pekka Vanhala, Curator. The ARS 11 programme for Kiasma Theatre will be compiled by Riitta Aarniokoski. The themes of the exhibition and the artists are presented in richly illustrated exhibition catalogue. Brief descriptions and pictures of the works are found also in ARS 11 Guide, which is available at the ticket/information desk in Finnish, Swedish and English.
The artists are Georges Adéagbo (Benin), Ardmore Ceramic Art (South Africa), Sammy Baloji (Democratic Republic of the Congo), Ursula Biemann (Switzerland), Baaba Jakeh Chande (Zambia/ Finland), Kudzanai Chiurai (Zimbabwe/ South Africa), Steven Cohen (South Africa/ France), El Anatsui (Ghana/Nigeria), Samba Fall (Senegal/ Norway), Rotimi Fani-Kayode (Nigeria/ United Kingdom), Samuel Fosso (Cameroon/ Central African Republic), Patrizia Guerresi Maïmouna (Italy), Romuald Hazoumè (Benin), Ditte Haarløv Johnsen (Denmark), Laura Horelli (Finland/ Germany), Pieter Hugo (South Africa), Alfredo Jaar (Chile/ United States), Michael MacGarry (South Africa), Vincent Meessen (United States/ Belgium), Nandipha Mntambo (Swaziland/ South Africa), Baudouin Mouanda (Republic of the Congo), Otobong Nkanga (Nigeria/ Belgium), Odili Donald Odita (Nigeria/ United States), Emeka Ogboh (Nigeria), Abraham Onoriode Oghobase (Nigeria), J.D. Okhai Ojeikere (Nigeria), Andrew Putter (South Africa), Elina Saloranta (Finland), Mary Sibande (South Africa)and Barthélémy Toguo (Cameroon/ France).
Moments of Beauty is a coproduction with CCA Lagos and an independently curated part of ARS 11 exhibition. Guest curators for the Moments of Beauty, an exhibition of photographic work by J.D. Okhai Ojeikere, are Bisi Silva and Aura Seikkula.
ARS 11 will also be part of the programme of the Capital of Culture year 2011 in Turku. The contribution of Kiasma will include two video installations from its collections: Where is Where? (2008) by Eija-Liisa Ahtila and WESTERN UNION: Small Boats (2007) by Isaac Julien. This part of the ARS 11 exhibition is produced in cooperation with the Kiasma Foundation. ARS 11 will extend across Finland and also to Stockholm, Sweden. The satellite exhibitions will be curated and produced by the partner museums and will showcase the themes of ARS 11.