OCA is pleased to announce the opening of its Winter/Spring 2012 Semesterplan with the lecture 'Poetics of the Infra-Ordinary' by Art Historian and Tate Modern Curator Elvira Dyangani Ose as part of her participation in OCA’s International Visitor Programme. This lecture is the first in a series of talks and discussions OCA will host throughout 2012 relating to contemporary art, society and politics in Africa to explore dialogues initiated at 'Condition Report', a symposium organised by Raw Material Company in Dakar in January 2012.
About the Lecture
In his book L'infra-ordinaire published in 1989, Georges Perec calls to the production of a narrative of daily life, of the common things. He emphasises the activist potential of the narration of the habitual, the everyday life, which occurs far from newspaper headlines and big events. Over the past decades African urban spaces have witnessed some of the most innovative, engaging and participatory artistic practices, which seem to follow suit Perec's analysis. Those projects start from the need to address issues occurring in their cultural contexts that would otherwise have remained unnoticed. They produce not only a narrative of daily life experience, but also create a new vocabulary, which connects art and society, abolishing the traditional narrative of author versus spectator. Elvira Dyangani Ose looks at the strategies of some of these initiatives such as 'Le Salon Urbain de Douala, SUD', Douala, Cameroon or the 'Picha Recontres', Lubumbashi Biennale, Democratic Republic of Congo, which pay special attention to the significance of the space in which the art intervention is being produced and reflect on the social relationships that are established in those spaces.
About the Speaker
Elvira Dyangani Ose was recently appointed curator of international art at Tate Modern, London, UK. She is currently a Ph.D candidate in the History of Art and Visual Studies programme at Cornell University, New York, NY, USA. She holds a graduate degree in the Theory and History of Architecture from Universtat Politècnica de Catalunya, Spain. She is a founding member of the Laboratory for Oral Resources in Equatorial Guinea, an independent research group on Equatorial Guinea oral tradition studies and also member of the research group Afroeuropeans at the University of León, Spain. As a freelance curator she developed several interdisciplinary projects, focusing on recovering collective memories, interventions in public space or urban ethnography, most significantly, 'Memoria i Desconcert: Art a Guinea Ecuatorial', 'Urban Emotion o Authentic Fiction'. As a specialist in contemporary African art she has been a guest professor at the University of Barcelona, Spain, and has taken part in lecture cycles addressing African artistic production and contemporary culture. In the last two years she curated an exhibition of contemporary South African artists called 'Olvida quién soy / Erase me from who I am' in collaboration with Tracy Murinik, Khwezi Gule and Gabi Ngcobo and 'Tres scenarios/Three scenarios', both of which took place while she was curator at Centro Atlántico de Arte Moderno, CAAM, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain. She will also serve as the curator for the next edition of PICHA, a biennial of photography and video scheduled for the autumn of 2012 in Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of Congo.
Photo: OCA / Espen Hagestrand