1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair Announces Special Projects


Launched by 1:54 in 2014, Special Projects champions the work of nonprofit cultural organisations and art centres with the aim of realising unique projects and collaborations during its fair editions.
For 2017, 1:54 introduces a new performance programme, in addition to a guest-curated film series by Goodman Gallery. The edition will further build on its site-specific installation programme with new art commissions by Pascale Marthine Tayou and Emeka Ogboh, incorporating The Edmond J. Safra Fountain Court and Somerset House’s interstitial spaces into the main exhibition.

  • 1:54 has partnered with Somerset House to present Hassan Hajjaj: La Caravane (through 7 January 2018), the first UK solo exhibition of the British-Moroccan artist in seven years, showcasing new and celebrated works. The collaboration follows on from the success of Malick Sidibé: The Eye of Modern Mali, which ran concurrently with the fair in London last October.
  • Thread’s exhibition at 1:54 shares some of the creative results from bringing together arts, community and agricultural practices in Sinthian, alongside work by contemporary artists who have visited Thread.
  • In collaboration with Mintworks (Marrakech), Hana Tefrati will perform Desire Path, a durational work transforming a corridor in the West Wing of Somerset House into a ‘desire path’ to call attention to the marginal spaces that the queer community occupies in Morocco.
  • Adejoke Tugbiyele presents Shifting the Waves, a new work exploring the liberating and transformative powers of movement in decolonising institutional and religious structures between Africa and the West.
  • Installed in The Edmond J. Safra Fountain Court of Somerset House, Pascale Marthine Tayou presents Summer Surprise, a site-specific work conceived for 1:54 and produced by Galleria Continua exploring ‘togunas’ – public structures native to Mali that facilitate debate and exchange at the heart of a community.
  • Goodman Gallery (Cape Town and Johannesburg) presents a film programme entitled History is Not Mine, which variously considers overlooked and suppressed histories. The daily film programme will feature works by Hank Willis Thomas, Tabita Rezaire and Kiluanji Kia Henda.
  • Independent arts space LE 18 (Marrakech) will present I Screen, a programme focused on video art, short films and the documentary form from both regional and international artists, exploring ideas around movement, exile, migration and identity. The programme further aims at examining heritage, and the socio-cultural and artistic modalities by which it is reactivated and humanised.
  • In the first of a new series of flag commissions by artists responding to the cultural programme at Somerset House, Larry Achiampong’s commission explores Afro-futurism and African diasporic identity. The flag is an extension of Achiampong’s new multidisciplinary science-fiction project based around his character of the Relic Traveller, a Pan African Unionist of the future whose quest is the collection of fragmented data that has been strewn across the planet.
  • Nando’s, 1:54’s silver sponsor, in partnership with Spier Arts Trust, will present works by four Southern African artists: Henk Serfontein, Marlise Keith, Patrick Bongoy and Thenjiwe Niki Nkosi. Nando’s and Spier Arts Trust will also present works from the Creative Block programme at the 1:54 Bookshop.


Above: Thread, Sinthian, Tambacounda, Senegal. Photo: Iwan Baan

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