Art Exhibition: “Witness: Afro Perspectives”

[Many thanks to Peter Jordens for bringing this item to our attention.] The exhibition “Witness: Afro Perspectives,” curated by Tandazani Dhlakama in collaboration with Patricia M. Hanna and Anelys Alvarez, is on view through January 31, 2021, at El Espacio 23 (located at 2270 NW 23rd Street, Miami, Florida). Latin American Herald Tribune (LAHT) reviews the exhibition in “‘Witness: Afro Perspectives’ Kicks Off Miami Art Week at El Espacio 23,” saying that “the experimental art center’s second show explores issues of systemic oppression, identity and more.”

El Espacio 23 (EE23) – the dedicated art space founded by leading philanthropist, entrepreneur, and contemporary art collector Jorge M. Perez – debuted its highly anticipated second exhibition, “Witness: Afro Perspectives” from the Jorge M. Perez Collection, on Monday.

Kicking off the iconic Miami Art Week, the show features over 100 works by African and African Diaspora artists, and grants visitors the unique opportunity to immerse themselves in the Jorge M. Perez Collection, regarded as one of the world’s most extensive private holdings of contemporary art.

“While African and African Diaspora contemporary art has been a nucleus in our collection for years, the sheer depth of talent and social resonance displayed by these artists is truly unbelievable,” said Perez. “We hope ‘Witness’ will serve as a catalyst for much-needed dialogue around issues of racial equity, political oppression and other troubling issues brought to light amid these unprecedented times. The entire curatorial team couldn’t be more excited to engage audiences with works that we believe can drive true, long-lasting social change.”

“Witness: Afro Perspectives” is curated by Tandazani Dhlakama, Assistant Curator at Zeitz MOCAA, in collaboration with Perez Collection curators, Patricia M. Hanna and Anelys Alvarez. Addressing themes such as systematic oppression, intergenerational trauma, syncretism, identity and territory, the show aims to inspire visitors to bear “witness” to its complex works and reflect on the challenges carried from one generation to another.

“With each show, we look to showcase a new facet of the South Florida community and explore how seemingly far-off cultures influence our own day-to-day life,” said Hanna. “Tandazani did an incredible job of pairing works to tell a story that has both hyperlocal relevance and global perspective – she delves into timeless themes, while showing just how deeply embedded they are in our world today. We are honored to have the opportunity to host such an important show in our current climate.”

Among the 75 well-established and up-and-coming featured artists are David Koloane, a pivotal arts figure in the apartheid-era of South Africa known for his powerful drawings, paintings and collages; Maria Magdalena Campos Pons, an internationally recognized figure with works primarily in photography, performance, audiovisual media and sculpture; and Mikhail Subotsky, an award-winning artist based in Johannesburg, popular for utilizing film, video and photography; among many others.

In addition to this sophomore exhibit, EE23 is also pleased to welcome Masimba Hwati, the first resident in this cycle of the space’s year-round program. Known for his unconventional, three-dimensional mixed-media sculptures, Hwati will be producing new work for the exhibit, including a site-specific piece exploring black identity in 1960s America.

Additionally, the Jorge M. Perez Family Foundation will continue to support several emerging artists through a standing partnership with The Fountainhead Residency. The collaboration benefitted numerous artists in 2020, including South Florida local Kathia St. Hilaire; Puerto Rican artist Danielle de Jesus; Ambrose Murray from Western North Carolina and Brooklyn-based Haley Josephs.

EE23 will be open to the public from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm until Sunday, Dec. 6. Viewings will be held by appointment only. In accordance with CDC and Miami-Dade County guidelines, face coverings are required for all visitors and staff, and hand-sanitizing stations are placed throughout all galleries. Social distancing of at least six feet will be strictly enforced.

Regular hours will resume on Dec. 7, with viewing appointments available on Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. Admission is free to the public. To reserve a time, and for more information about guided tours, please visit www.elespacio23.com or email info@elespacio23.com.

For full article, see http://laht.com/article.asp?ArticleId=2497316&CategoryId=13003

For more information, see https://elespacio23.com

Also see “El arte africano contemporáneo se da a conocer en la Semana de Arte de Miami”
EFE, 1 diciembre 2020
https://www.efe.com/efe/espana/cultura/el-arte-africano-contemporaneo-se-da-a-conocer-en-la-semana-de-miami/10005-4408311

[Shown above: María-Magdalena Campos Pons’ “Finding Balance” (2015).]

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