FREETOWN is a group show and the first presentation of POC POC, The Constant Now's coaching programme that links young artists of color with art professionals. The title refers to a new community of artists. By collectively sharing their personal stories, which are inspired by their cultural background, the artists help shape the foundation of the group's unique identity. FREETOWN is about tracing kinship and connections between cultures, individuals and artistic practices.
Curator: Magali Elali
Coaches: Karen Van Godtsenhoven, Marie Gomis-Tresize, Helena Kristis, and Sofia Dati
FREETOWN at Fuggerstraat 26, 2060 Antwerp.
Opening: Thursday 13 October, 17-21h with live performances.
Show: Thurs - Sun, 14-18h.
The show is produced with S.M.A.K. and Art_United and debuted during the music festival Fire is Gold. POC POC is supported by Vlaanderen, Kunstenpunt and Stad Antwerpen.
The group show THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT tackles the stereotypes of today's youth. By focusing on heritage, sexuality, self-empowerment, and childhood memories, five young artists shed light on this complicated yet universal matter. The expo is a collaboration between THE CONSTANT NOW, and Please Add Color.
Curators: Kevin Kotahunyi and Magali Elali.
THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT - PT2 takes place in November 2021.
My practice is centered on the landscape as the main character. By representing it abstractly through various media (sculpture, painting, textile), I create a vessel to connect to visitors in terms of a universal experience. All is made primarily using pigmented paper pulp; layers of this recycled material accumulate, like layers of sediment make landforms. The ensemble’s aesthetic is inspired by underwater landscapes seen over the years while diving with my father in the Caribbean Sea and constitutes a play on color, layers, and textures. They aim to look otherworldly, as underwater geological formations and flora can be. Growing up an islander surrounded by the sea, it is a place I connect to, and that connects us, the “in-between the islands” of the archipelago I was previously working on.
Lou Cocody-Valentino (Martinique, 1994) is a French-Caribbean multidisciplinary artist, currently living and working in Brussels.
By using dying flowers as brushes, I make drawings that transfer the life of flowers onto the fabric. This installation results from the performance: a ceremony for the life and death of discarded flowers. Through performance,
I want to remember the limited life of flowers as an eternal beauty. The installation takes the format of ‘Manjang’. This is a flag with elegy written on fabric, hanging on bamboo, that leads the parade of funerals in Korean traditional culture.
Subin Son (South Korea, 1992) is a multidisciplinary artist, currently living and working in Antwerp.
These portraits were taken during the music festival Fire is Gold, for which I created a photo booth inspired by the African photo studio of the 20th century. What made imagery by Malick Sidibe, Sanlé Sory, and Seydou Keïta so extraordinary is that the Black photographer had control over the image he made of other Black people in contrast to their shared imagery back then. In some cases, the people portrayed had control themselves by using props. In 2020 I started a project about giving back the power to the people in my pictures. The photo booth concept fits this idea, allowing me to enter the tradition myself.
Awa Gaye (Belgium, 1997) studies photography
at KASK and lives in Ghent.
This photo was taken during the pandemic from the backseat of my car. It portrays a man standing against a dumpster, covering his face. As I spent some of my quarantine time in Kinshasa, I experienced how the virus hit there differently. We have a specific model in mind when we talk about masks, like FFP2. On the street, however, everything is called ‘Cache-Nez’ and made with any material they can find.
Maria E André
Between dream and reality, I explore the weaving structure in relation to sculpture. ‘Gestures of Roams’ is the result of thinking around hidden gestures, markers of an invisible trace, an encounter beyond the materials, manuality, fibre, flesh, and skin. Something not palpable links us to this work, which is of the order of life. This monumental tapestry is made of meridians woven in a landscape both structured and mental. The front concentrates a form of freedom, a force of uncontrolled nature. Sisal fibre, which comes from the agave plant, takes possession of the space.
Maria E André (Bolivia, 1996) is a Franco-Bolivian textile artist and sculptor. She lives and works in Brussels.
Hussein Shikha & Sadrie Alves
This transformative piece explores another thread of our project ‘Tales of Symbologies’ focusing on symbols present in tapestries and the action of stamping. The method of woodblock printing allows us to join different visual languages constituting a cooperative whole as well as highlighting our long-term collaboration and the repetitive, meditative and laborious aspect of craft. The piece will be activated in two consecutive moments throughout the exhibition.
Hussein Shikha (Iraq, 1996)
is a Belgian artist,
living and working in Antwerp.
Sadrie Alves (Brazil, 1997) is a Belgian-Brazilian artist, living and working in Brussels.
The video follows my photographic work. It puts into perspective the question of physicality, the home, and the myth residing in the black body. ‘I Came a Long Way’ is based on a text, and two dialogues between myself, the performer, and the narrator. We never came into contact, and the video reads as an assemblage of these moments. The dissonance between text and image allows me to create non-linear narratives and recreate the event or ‘accident’. In it, the myth appears. And a new narrative emerges by losing control, the intimacy between two individuals, the improvisation and raw moments.
Gladys Bukolo (Congo, 1995) is a Belgo-Congolese artist living and working in Brussels.