Ângela Ferreira | na Michael Stevenson Gallery (África do Sul)
10 July - 23 August 2008
Michael Stevenson is pleased to present a new work by Ângela Ferreira, accompanied by the first screening in South Africa of the film Maison Tropicale by Manthia Diawara, commissioned on the occasion of Ferreira's participation in the 2007 Venice Biennale.
Ferreira's work, For Mozambique (Model No 2 of screen-orator-kiosk celebrating a post-independence Utopia), 2008, is based on a 1922 design for an agitprop kiosk by the Russian Constructivist Gustav Klucis. The structure, with its reference to the political optimism following the Russian revolution in the 1920s, is surmounted by a screen which Ferreira uses to present two films that in turn reflect the euphoria surrounding Mozambique's independence from colonial rule in the mid-1970s. The first s
hort film is Makwayela, directed by the French filmmaker Jean Rouch in 1977, which documents a celebratory song and dance performed by Mozambican factory workers. The second shows concert footage of Bob Dylan performing the song Mozambique in Colorado in May 1976.
Born in 1958 in Maputo, Mozambique, Ferreira grew up in South Africa and obtained her MFA from the Michaelis School of Fine Art, University of Cape Town. She lives and works in Lisbon, and was chosen to represe
nt Portugal at the 52nd Venice Biennale in 2007. For her Venice work, Maison Tropicale, Ferreira continued her investigations into the ways in which European modernism adapted or failed to adapt to the realities of the African continent by tracing the history of Jean Prouvé's Maison Tropicale or 'tropical house'.
The making of Ferreira's Maison Tropicale is the subject of Manthia Diawara's film of the same title, which follows Ferreira's visits to the sites where the prototypes of the houses were installed in Brazzaville in the Republic of the Congo and Niamey in Niger, as well as the subsequent 'reclamation' of the prototypes by the Western art world. The 58-minute film, 'a postcolonial excavation into African identity, art and the notion of cultural patrimony', had its African premiere at the Dakar Biennale in May and will be screened at the gallery throughout the exhibition.
Diawara, who was born in Mali, is Professor of Comparative Literature and Film, and Director of the Institute of African-American Affairs, at New York University. He has published several books on black culture, film and literature including African Cinema: Politics and Culture (1992), In Search of Africa (2000) and We Won't Budge: An African exile in the world (2003). His films include Bamako Sigi Kan (2001) and Conakry Kas (2003).
These exhibitions run concurrently with Guy Tillim: Avenue Patrice Lumumba. The exhibitions open on Thursday 10 July, 6 - 8pm. The gallery is open from Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, and Saturday from 10am to 1pm.