October 17, 2013—November 27, 2013 | Reception Thursday, October 17th, 6-8pm
James Harris Gallery is pleased to present a small group photography show of artists from Africa whose works explore the issues of identity, culture, and religion. The artists selected for the exhibition specifically use the camera to document themselves. They have each become the subject and the photographer, the performer and the director. The photographs often become a transmitter of information expressing concerns about race, sex, and class. In additional works the artists use their personal experiences to shed light on the social injustices of historical and contemporary events. The photographs incorporate performative nature in which the artist’s body becomes the narrator, exposing the dark side of social reality and public conscience. The exhibition hopes to provide a deeper insight into humanity by raising awareness of the barriers that exist within the African continent. Artists featured in this exhibition are Adeola Olagunju, Abraham Oghobase, Nomusa Makhubu, Hasan and Husain Essop, and Mohau Modisakeng.
In Nomusa Makhubu’s Self Portrait Series, she has projected images of herself onto historical photographs. The resulting images explore issues of identity and challenge the notions of representation in terms of colonial history. Hasan and Husain Essop investigate ideas of memory in relation to the history and practice of religion in their works. The photographs in the exhibition depict a historically relevant site in Senegal, where the brothers have posed themselves. The photographs raise numerous issues relating to history, heritage, religious identity, and the politics of a place. Mohau Modisakeng’s photographs concern themselves with the issue of violence and the role it continues to play within postcolonial African society. Using costumes and various props, the artist has meticulously crafted images of himself in varying poses to investigate this highly charged narrative topic. Adeola Olagunju performance-based works examines stereotypes in Nigeria. Her photographs highlight high level of socio-religion and political decadence in Africa. Abraham Oghobase black and white photographs explore issues relating to human emotions and identity against specific socio-economic backdrops.