Workshop #2 and Public Symposium


(c) Photo: Part of Painting Collection. Collection Makerere Art Gallery

Public Symposium

“(Hi)Stories of Exhibition Making / 1960 – 1990”

Sunday, 04.09.2016, National Museum

10h-12h Presentations

  • Exhibitions at Makerere Art Gallery (George Kyeyune)

1938 will be remembered as the year for the first art exhibition in Uganda at Namirembe Synod Hall. The enthusiasm it generated led to the founding of the Makerere Art School in 1940. A community of active art practitioners soon emerged and the demand for exhibition space soon became evident. The Uganda Museum exhibition space (1962) and Nommo Gallery (1964) were a response to this demand. It is however the Makerere Art Gallery (1969) that became distinctive because of its focus on extending the boundaries of knowledge in art. It has, since its opening, maintained a non-commercial gallery stance. Its location within Makerere art School made it a perfect choice for exhibiting a diversity of art forms by staff and art students who came from the region of east Africa and beyond. Its collection is the finest in the region and a magnet to researchers in visual culture. The gallery has however had challenges that resulted from the turbulent political periods of the 70s and 80s, a shoe string budget as well as lack of qualified staff to run it. This paper examines the trials and tribulations of Makerere Art gallery and shows how it has managed to recover from its difficulties to become a vibrant centre for visual culture within Makerere campus.

  • Overview on the very recent history of exhibitions and festivals in Kampala in the current decade (Katrin Peters-Klaphake)

This presentation takes a look at recent exhibitions and art festivals in Kampala against the backdrop of a brief historic reflection on exhibition activities in Uganda and a side look at exhibitions of Ugandan art abroad. The art scene in Kampala undoubtedly is very vibrant in this current decade, a fact that certainly also has a lot to do with perception, audiences and new media. While the documentation of exhibitions in the past is quite fragmented and scattered – or simply not available or accessible – these histories provide an important context and some open questions.

  • Exhibition making in the 1960s: The Nommo Gallery (Sidney Kasfir)

The Nommo Gallery, founded in Kampala in 1964, has seen war and upheaval but has managed to remain open continuously for 52 years. Kasfir will discuss three artists who began their careers there in the late 1960s in exhibitions she curated: Francis Nnaggenda, Richard Ndabagoye, and Jak Katarikawe.

  • Exhibition making in Nsukka and Enugu, Nigeria: 1970s – 1990s (Ozioma Onuzulike and Chijioke Onuora)

This paper tells the hi(story) of exhibition making in Enugu and Nsukka (the political and educational capitals of Nigeria’s eastern region, respectively), beginning from the immediate postcolonial epoch of the 1960s, through the post-war period of the 1970s to the military era of the 1980s-1990s. It seeks to provide insights into the key venues or spaces available to modern and contemporary artists in both towns (which, incidentally, are located only about an hour’s drive apart) and the factors at play in artists’ decisions to use them. It also examines the factors that shaped how exhibitions were conceived, executed and documented, as well as the socio-economic and political conditions that shaped artists’ subject matters during these periods.

14h-17h Presentations

  • Exhibition making in the 1960s: Mbari Mbayo and Oshogbo (Katharina Greven)
  • Exhibition making in the 1980s: Iwalewahaus (Ugochukwu-Smooth Nzewi & Nadine Siegert)

Iwalewahaus, University of Bayreuth, is until today a place for the production and presentation of modern and contemporary art. By doing exhibitions, academic research and teaching, by taking care of the collections and the archive as well as providing residencies for artists, recent developments in contemporary African and African diaspora culture are presented and refined together with artists and institutions. In our presentation we want to give an overview of the most important shows and also reconstruct what these shows meant not only for a local public but also on a national and international level. We thereby want to broaden and complicate the narration of exhibition making of African Modernisms in the 1980s by adding the perspective of an institution that is strongly shaped by its founding director Ulli Beier and his conceptualisations of African arts but also by the fact that the institution is located in Germany and part of a university.

  • Africa ’95 and its legacy (Moses Serubiri)

The paper presents an analysis of africa 95 through its curator Clementine Deliss’ anthropological research in Senegal and Uganda, attempting to show how its anthropological strategies shaped the  curating of contemporary art from Africa.

The symposium takes place within the framework of Kampala Art Bienniale 2016. It is organized by the members of the international research project “African Art History and the Formation of a Modern Aesthetic”, who held their second workshop entitled “Art History Rewritten. Contributing to the History of Postcolonial Modernism” in Kampala.

Contact: Nadine Siegert nadine.siegert@uni-bayreuth.de / Siegrun Salmanian siegrun.salmanian@uni-bayreuth.de

Download program as PDF: PublicSymposiumKampala2016

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Further links:

Facebook Event

Kampala Bienniale Program

Iwalewahaus

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