Curated by Nana Oforiatta Ayim, Black Star: The Museum as Freedom features the artists Na Chainkua Reindorf, Afroscope and Diego Araúja
The artists and exhibition details for the Ghana pavilion at this year’s Venice Biennale have been announced. For the pavilion’s sophomore outing, Ghana presents Black Star: The Museum as Freedom, lining up installations by artists Na Chainkua Reindorf, Afroscope and Diego Araúja.
Curated by Nana Oforiatta Ayim, the show takes its title from the Ghanaian national emblem, tracking the symbol – the ‘Lodestar of African Freedom’ – back to Marcus Garvey’s Black Star Line and the Back-to-Africa movement, and campaigns for Pan-Africanism and anti-colonialism. The exhibition ‘examines new constellations of this freedom across time, technology and borders’. The exhibition also functions through the curator’s idea of the Mobile Museum, which visits communities across Ghana with the aim of ‘co-curation and exchange’.
Na Chainkua Reindorf’s work explores the traditions of historically male secret societies, constructing her own mythical society of women, Mawu Nyonu; Afroscope considers the intersections of spirituality, nature and technology; Diego Araúja reflects on the Atlantic Ocean’s role as divider and unifier.
Nana Oforiatta Ayim said in a statement: ‘Ghana in its 65th year still grapples with political, economic, cultural, social and knowledge systems not made of or for its contexts. Systems created within its communities over thousands of years were deemed inferior to ones termed ‘universal’ by dominant powers. As we outgrow and move beyond ill-fitting systems; new ones, not yet defined, that draw on rich histories, not with nostalgia but with discernment of hindsight and experience; are forming.’