The FORUM - Professional days from 2 to 5 December
Curator: Marie-Ann Yemsi with the collaboration of the members of the Committee of curatorial advisors
Curatorial assistant: Astrid Lepoultier
3 x 2 to 2.5 hour sessions – mornings of 3, 4 and 5 December.
Location: National Museum of Mali, in a dedicated outdoor area.
Audience: open to all. All the artists invited to Bamako by the biennale will be present. The programme of speakers and contributions will be available at the end of October.
The Forum organises professional workshops at the Biennale Village in a new system based on the artists’ active participation.
The workshops, which will take place from 2 to 5 December 2017 will gather together all participating artists, partners, professionals from around the world and African and international media. The Forum will provide an opportunity to experiment with a new approach and system of professional meetings, focusing on a collaborative and collective dynamic and the active participation of the artists. An academic format is not always appropriate and is often intimidating for the artists who might not necessarily have knowledge of how it functions. The Forum sessions have therefore been designed to facilitate the creation of spaces of unfettered freedom, and to suggest tools and avenues for debate that will promote sharing and the collective emergence of a different form of knowledge. This approach thereby repositions the artists at the nexus of discussions and helps give their words greater impact, in unrestricting formats.
Each session features contributions by artists represented in the biennale’s exhibitions (performances, performed readings, etc.), dialogue and discussions with intellectuals from Africa or its diasporas (writers, philosophers, musicians, choreographers, cultural producers, etc.).
▪ 3 December 2017 – This first session will focus on the exploration of concerns raised by the artists in the Pan-African exhibition, Afrotopia.
▪ 4 December 2017 – The second session will offer an opportunity to examine the status of images produced by the artists. We are constantly bombarded with a stream of images, and under the influence of their immediate aesthetic or cognitive effect we rarely take the time to examine their origins, their presuppositions or their subtexts. From fictional narratives to documentary accounts, what is the role and the responsibility of photographers and video- makers in their handling and broadcasting?
▪ 5 December 2017 – The final session will examine the implications of the biennale at a time when this type of event is proliferating and the opportunities for reinventing forms of cultural production and methods of teaching the arts in Africa.
▪ Performing Afrotopia
Marie-Ann Yemsi, curator of the biennale, offers in collaboration with Kettly Noël an Afrotopia evening event, an abstract chapter of the Pan- African exhibition that explores the advantageous links between images, dance and performance. Bamako resident and Haiti-born dancer, choreographer and actress Kettly Noël is an artist who has exhibited at Documenta 14. She runs the Dense Bamako Dance Festival and the Donko Seko cultural centre, a venue for training, choreographic creation and the development of dance.
▪ The Ciné Mobile
This project is inspired by travelling cinemas and open-air screenings for an audience without access to culture or the opportunity to visit the exhibitions. Designed by Anna-Alix Koffi with the musical accompaniment of a DJ set or local musicians, this slideshow of African photographers presents a selection of works from the biennale’s various exhibitions. Presented at a reception during the launch days, the Ciné Mobile will set out to meet all communities for evening screenings in public squares with the assistance of Bamako’s neighbourhood associations. An illustrated leaflet outlining the programme will be distributed free of charge.
The educational programme
An educational programme for schools and the public will be organised over the entire biennale in partnership with private Malian cultural operators.
View of the Pieter Hugo exhibition, Nollywood, at the Palais de la Culture, Bamako, 2009.
Exhibitions and cultural events will be held across the city in conjunction with the biennale.
1,500 copies of a bilingual (French and English) catalogue will be circulated to present all the biennale’s exhibitions, including the Pan-African exhibition. It will be published by Éditions Dilecta in November 2017.
Founded in Paris in 2005, Éditions Dilecta specialises in contemporary art. A publishing house in the widest sense, it publishes around 20 projects each year: exhibition catalogues, monographs, artist’s books, and editions or multiples that sometimes give rise to exhibitions in their gallery in Rue Notre- Dame de Nazareth. Christian Boltanski, Bertrand Lavier, Claire Fontaine, William Kentridge, Jean- Michel Othoniel and Anish Kapoor feature in the catalogue.