The Senior Guest Researchers have a high-level competence and experience in the field of art historiography with reference to postcolonial Modernism. We seek to balance the researchers’ team by including strong perspectives from the Global South.

Senior Guest Researchers:

Dr. Yvette Mutumba was research curator for Africa at the Weltkulturen Museum, Frankfurt am Main and is co-founder of the online magazine Contemporary And (C&) – Platform for International Art from African Perspectives. She did her PhD entitled ‘(Re)Presentations, Receptions,  Expectations: Contemporary Art from Africa and the Diaspora in the German context, 1960s – 2011’ as stipendiary of Birkbeck, University of London. Mutumba studied Art History at the Freie Universität, Berlin. Before starting her work at the Weltkulturen Museum, Yvette worked in various fields of the contemporary art business. Additionally, she published multiple texts on contemporary art from Africa and the Diaspora, co-curated and initiated projects dealing with the issue and advised institutions such as the Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwartskunst or the ifa in regards to the topic.

In her contribution to the research project Yvette Mutumba will look at the very different ways and formats of archiving the art works at the Weltkulturen Museum in Frankfurt and at the Makerere Gallery.  In case of the Schneider collection also the whereabouts of the works before they entered the Frankfurt collection will be considered. Focus, however, will be the different institutional handling of those works created at Makerere between the 1960s and 1980s. What effect does the physical caring for/neglect of works have on their relevance as art historical objects? How does their handling relate to an understanding of the artists’ approaches, motivations and developments? Which role play artists, custodians, archivists, curators, teachers – hence those people who feel in one way or the other responsible (or not) – for the positioning of these works in a relevant art discourse? How might it be possible to develop new presentations and readings out of those possibly conflicting contexts and situations? And what might be the strategies to circumvent the danger of reducing these questions to a simple juxtaposition of different national and cultural backgrounds?

Emma Wolukau-Wanambwa, MA (Nnaggenda International Academy of Art & Design, Kampala)

Prof. Dr. Bärbel Küster (TU Berlin)

Dr. Angelo Kakande (Makerere University, Kampala)

Dr. Ozioma Onozulike works both as an artist (mainly ceramics) and art historian. He currently teaches in the Department of Fine and Applied Arts at Nsukka University of Nigera.

Within the research project, Onozulike will focus on “Iwalewahaus Collection in the History of Stylistic and Conceptual Developments in Contemporary Nigerian art”. According to him, there appears to be a strong relationship between the works of the Oshogbo artists (mentored and collected by Ulli and Georgina Beier) and contemporary developments in the art of the Ona group, associated with artists trained at the Obafemi  Awolowo University , Ile-Ife. There is also a strong relationship between collections from Nsukka and current transformations in the works coming out of that region of Nigeria.  Thus he intends to explore paintings, sculptures, photographs and papers at the Iwalewahaus in the examination of aspects of the historical, stylistic and conceptual similarities and shifts in the development of modern and contemporary art in Nigeria.

Junior Guest Researcher:

Rose Jekorir (Nairobi)

Associated Researchers:

Shirabe Ogata is a Research Fellow in the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science.

Her focus for this project will be on the impact of German individuals and institutions on production of arts and intentions of artists who live and work in Ile-Ife, southwestern Nigeria. It is based on research on artists in Ile-Ife including Oshogbo artists from 2003 to 2015. Oshogbo artists were ‘found’ and encouraged by a German scholar Ulli Beier and his associates from the mid-1950s to late 1990s. Several Oshogbo artists live in Ile-Ife, which is geographically very close to Oshogbo and made vibrant by the few thousand people at the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University) and overseas visitors to the university. Whether or not they call themselves Oshogbo artists, quite a number of contemporary artists in Ile-Ife have been influenced by Oshogbo artists. Influenced areas vary from the style and subject matter of artists’ works to their intentions of patronage. Some artists often draw upon styles of the first and second generation of Oshogbo artists, while others dare not do as such but try to identify their works as different from those of Oshogbo. However, the most crucial influence in question may be the change of relationship between artists and patrons, that is, artists living in Ile-Ife and German individuals and institutions. This is related to the impact of Ulli Beier and his associates on the earlier generation of Oshogbo artists, and in consequence, contemporary artists’ intention to produce artworks to be appreciated and purchased by foreigners or ‘whites’. This research will examine the legacy of Oshogbo art movement in Ile-Ife after 2000 with focus on individuals and institutions on both Nigerian and German sides. Observing various viewpoints of individual artists and patrons, it will trace how their relationship has been continuing and changing. This should give us an opportunity to rethink African art that is produced and received with an intimate relationship between local artists in Africa and individuals and institutions in Europe.

Dr. Polly Savage is teaching art history at SOAS, University of London.

Moses Serubiri (MA), works as a freelance writer and curator from Kampala.

Associated Artists:

Talya Lubinsky (Johannesburg)

Peterson Kamwathi (Nairobi)