The Base sous-marine in Bordeaux will be presenting the exhibition "Rhizomes". It forms part of the Africa2020 season devoted to the 54 States of the African continent, initiated by President Emmanuel Macron and coordinated by the Institut Français.
"Rhizomes" proposes an alternative, subjective and poetic cartography of the contemporary imaginations of seventeen artists from Africa and the diaspora whose multi-facetted work is hybridised by the world of digital technology.
The exhibition explores the role and influence of new technologies on contemporary artistic production and the ways they are used to reimagine the present, to ask questions about the future and to (re)contextualise official narratives.
The artists have been invited to appropriate the monumental spaces of the submarine base, revealing diverse practices that form part of a global, futuristic, rhizome-like flow that plays with disciplines, frontiers and aesthetics.
Intersecting perspectives explore the ways knowledge is constructed and disseminated, and the role and importance of orality in the 21st century. The artworks reflect upon the major transformations caused by the advent of the Internet and the digital sphere in contemporary art. "Rhizomes" embraces an openly fluid, fragmented and non-linear narrative and uses installations, sound, music, radio, photography and digital arts to suggest a counter-cartography of contemporary thought and imagined futures.
"Rhizomes" borrows its name from botany and Edouard Glissant's "Rhizome theory", which proposes plural identity as an alternative to the idea of a single root. Similarly, the exhibition creates an antithesis to the single, fixed narrative, looking beyond roots to reveal a network of unexpected associations between thoughts, images, sound and video.
The exhibition has three conceptual strands:
"History and knowledge dissemination": works that address the uncertain status of orality as a vector of memory and transmission of value in the 21st century; "Spiritual Networks", reflecting upon the material and immaterial conditions of colonisation and the ecological impact of the digital revolution on the African continent.
"Imaginary Worlds": works that project humanist utopias and alternative universes.
Malala Andrialavidrazana, Alun Be, Tshiani Baloji, Cesar Schofield Cardoso, Pedro Coquenão Batida, Nolan Oswald Dennis, Omar Victor Diop, Olalekan Jeyifous, Cyrus Kabiru, Selly Raby Kane, Grada Kilomba, François Knoetze, Maurice Mbikayi, Emo de Medeiros, Mohau Modissakeng, Nástio Mosquito, João Renato Orecchia and La Villa Hermosa.