Tuesday, June 15, 2010

FOCUS10 – intimate, relaxed and a lot of art!

After premiering in 2009 FOCUS is ready to launch its second edition. FOCUS10 is designed to present and connect the vibrant African art scene to the world. Conceived as a complement to Art Basel (June 16-20, 2010), the fair showcases Galerie Peter Herrmann (Berlin) and features emerging and established artists from Africa and the Diaspora in a show curated by Christine Eyene (London) and Lerato Bereng (Johannesburg) and supported by Fondation Blachère (Apt) and Pro Helvetia Cape Town. In a relaxed and intimate atmosphere visitors of FOCUS10 can expect to enjoy a huge variety of artistic production from the diverse scenes of the African continent and from the African Diaspora.

Galerie Peter Herrmann features acclaimed artists Dalila Dalleas (Louzla Darabi), Amouzou Glikpa, Bill Kouélany, Goddy Leye, Malam, George Osodi, Chéri Samba and Ransome Stanley. Founded in 1989 Galerie Peter Hermann ranks today among the best-established galleries representing art with an emphasis on Africa. Being involved in various projects and exhibitions in the past Peter Herrmann is renowned for his comprehensive support for both established artists and newcomers. The gallery enjoys worldwide recognition as being one of the few galleries to consistently and accurately present Africa over the course of an extended artistic timeline.

Peter Herrmann’s exhibition is complemented by a show of up-and-coming artists, who responded to the open call launched by FOCUS in 2009. Curators Christine Eyene and Lerato Bereng selected 12 artists whose topics, aesthetic approach, choice of medium and technique are innovative, reflect new trends stemming from Africa and the Diaspora, and whose practice is relevant within the context of Art Basel – the world’s leading art fair.

The curated show is supported by Fondation Blachère and Pro Helvetia Cape Town, both active partners of the creative African scenes. The Apt-based Fondation Blachère awards its Emerging Artist Prize at the Dak’Art Biennale and Bamako Encounters. It also hosts residencies and organises exhibitions. Fondation Blachère will contribute a selection of video pieces by various African artists to FOCUS10 whereas Pro Helvetia Cape Town will support the participation of Breeze Yoko (Johannesburg). Yoko will attend FOCUS10 as an observing artist and perform as a graffiti-artist in live-workshops as part of his forthcoming residency in Basel after FOCUS10.
Beside a unique visual experience, FOCUS10 is offering a variety of side events that will help the public to gain a deep insight into the various scenes of contemporary African art. In an intimate atmosphere artist talks, workshops, panel discussions and concerts will be held. As a fringe activity of FOCUS10 a work by Bill Kouelany and Goddy Leye named “Chocolate Banana” will be shown in a taxi driving around in the city of Basel.

In a global context where African galleries remain largely marginalized from mainstream art fairs, FOCUS10 will provide a critical platform for positioning African artists as players in the international art arena during the world’s most important art fair. The unique mixture of established institutions, independent artists and a wide range of supporting programs will undoubtedly turn FOCUS10 into an extraordinary experience and create an atmosphere of
encounter, exchange and creative reflection.

In its second edition FOCUS aims to further unveil the potential of the initiative and to take the next step in establishing itself as a key event on the calendars of galleries representing African artists, publishers, institutions and other cultural actors involved in the African art scenes.

For more details visit http://www.focus10.ch/.

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