Uganda to Present Inaugural National Pavilion at 2022 Venice Biennale

Thursday, February 17, 2022
Uganda to Present Inaugural National Pavilion at 2022 Venice Biennale

For the Venice Biennale, two artists from Kampala, Uganda, Acaye Kerunen and Collin Sekajugo, will present their work, in an exhibition entitled, "Radiance - They Dream in Time" at the Palazzo Palumbo Fossati.

For the Venice Biennale, two artists from Kampala, Uganda, Acaye Kerunen and Collin Sekajugo, will present their work, in an exhibition entitled, "Radiance - They Dream in Time" at the Palazzo Palumbo Fossati.                                                  
For every nation presenting in this global gathering it is a historic moment and Uganda’s inaugural pavilion at the Venice Biennale is a fertile ground in which to present the artists ideas of Kerunen and Sekajugo, for an audience to further understand the semantic intelligence of African and in this case Ugandan traditions and its modernity.

Curated by Shaheen Merali, a Tanzania-born, London-based writer and curator, the first-ever Ugandan Pavilion will be titled “Radiance – They Dream in Time” and will feature works by two Kampala-based artists, Acaye Kerunen and Collin Sekajugo, at the Palazzo Palumbo Fossati. 

Shaheen Merali said, "Radiance - They Dream in Time” refers to the essential knowledge and lived experiences of Kerunen and Sekajugo in speaking to the many different territories of Uganda as well as to urban trade and living conditions in its urban centres. Both artists have been actively working with formal and informal archives of Uganda’s dynamic visual culture."

Acaye Kerunen’s process as a socially engaged artist foregrounds the work of local and regional Ugandan craftswomen, celebrating them as integral collaborators and elevating the artistic practices of local artisans who are the gatekeepers of their local wetlands, drawing upon a sacred and unspoken knowledge of ecological stewardship. By deconstructing utilitarian materials and artisan crafts, Kerunen repositions the work in order to tell new stories and posit new meaning. The act of re-installing these deconstructed materials is a response to the agency of women’s work in Africa and an acknowledgment of the role that this artistic labor plays in the climate ecosystem.

Collin Sekajugo approaches his work from a distinct, aesthetic departure point that resides in his repeated return to pop culture and the omnipresent influence exuded by the global mainstream, conversing and critiquing its many biases across visual, oral and digital cultures. Since 2012, Sekajugo has worked with the manipulation of the common stock image to reveal its inherent biases of entitlement and privilege largely modelled on the Western self. Sekajugo’s artistic practice highlights a contemporaneous anthropological reversal of this mainstream culture through the lens of a decidedly African sense for irreverence and play on the ad-hoc. Conceptually, the works of Sekajugo become pure theatre, a hacking of identity that exposes some truths behind these stock images that quietly continue to colonise the entire globe by the weight of their own popularity.

 

Check out exciting works of contemporary African art on the ArtDependence art store on Artsy. Click the Artsy banner to see the array of works on view.

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Roman Pyatkovka, “VELVET SADNESS”, (1996), photograph glued on velvet passe-partout (paper).

Roman Pyatkovka, “VELVET SADNESS”, (1996), photograph glued on velvet passe-partout (paper).

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