I’m bending the rules a little to let you know about two exciting exhibitions that are on over the next few months. They aren’t in London, but they sound great. So…
First, just open at the Arnolfini in Bristol is Superpower: Africa in Science Fiction. The conceit is an intriguing one – it’s about how artists locate stories, ideas and dreams from science fiction in the African continent. This seems to me like a great concept. What better starting point than Sci-Fi to explore new technologies and possible futures in Africa, not simply as pathways to ‘development’ but as processes requiring critical and creative reflection? With works including Kiluanji Kia Henda’s Icarus 13 (2006) – a series of photographs documenting the preparations for the first ever expedition to the sun, led by the Angolan government – and Neïl Beloufa’s Kempinski (2007), a video installation featuring Malians talking about telepathy and teleportation – the show features a range of Africa and Europe-based artists, and promises to participate in ‘the battle to represent the future.’ Sounds pretty unmissable.
If Superpower leaves you wanting more, in Manchester this summer you can check out We Face Forward, a season of contemporary art and music from West Africa. Part of the London 2012 Festival, the season runs for over three months and includes a bewildering array of artists and musicians in venues across the city including Manchester Art Gallery, Whitworth Art Gallery and the Gallery of Costume. There’s really too much going on to list it all here – better to have a browse of the website and take it from there.
Superpower: Africa in Science Fiction
Show: until 1st July
Tues-Sun, 11 – 6
16 Narrow Quay, Bristol
We Face Forward
Season runs 2nd June – 16 Sept
Opening hours/venues: various. See here for further details.