On the occasion of its tenth anniversary in London, 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair revisits Somerset House with its headline edition over four days from October 13-16, 2022. 1-54 London 2022 will feature 50 global exhibitors from 21 nations, the largest number of nations to date.
Of the 50 global exhibitors, 16 are from the African continent and 14 will be participating for the first time at this fair in London. Newcomers to the fair include Albertz Benda, Berntson Bhattacharjee Gallery, Galleria Poggiali, Portas Vilaseca Galeria, Selebe Yoon and Unit London.
New and returning exhibitors will present over 130 artisans working in a variety of mediums from painting and sculpture to mixed media and installation. Works by established artists such as Ibrahim El-Salahi, Hassan Hajjaj and Zanele Muholi, as well as up-and-coming young specialists such as Sola Olulode and Pedro Neves will be on view.
1-54 London 2022 will be accompanied by a series of unique initiatives and events, including 1-54 Forum, the fair’s multidisciplinary program of lectures, screenings, exhibitions and readings, which will be curated by Dr. Omar Kholeif.
In a collaboration with Somerset House, interdisciplinary artist Grada Kilomba, will bring his acclaimed installation, O Barco/The Boat, to the Somerset House courtyard from September 29 to October 19, 2022. The stunning 32-meter long installation is composed of 140 blocks, whose design frames the lower hold of a European slave transport.
The blocks contain sonnets in six distinct dialects, carved unpredictably into their surfaces. Framed within the historical context of European colonization and exploitation of the seas, the work invites the audience to reflect on the stories and characters that failed. Alongside its sculptural elements, the artwork incorporates a live performance, combining melody, music and dance, with a musical creation by essayist and performer Kalaf Epalanga.
Planned and coordinated by the artist, the live band gives new meaning to O Barco/The Boat, both acknowledging memories of the past and looking forward to what lies ahead. Making its UK debut, Grada Kilomba‘s installation will be on view, with exhibitions during the 1-54 fair from October 13-15, 2022.