UBUNTU: The Harry David Art Collection at EMST
WHAT: An overview of contemporary African art through 66 works by 34 artists from the Harry David Art Collectionat EMST, the Greek Museum of Contemporary Art.
Harry David, prominent art collector and industrialist, showcases his cosmopolitan upbringing with his impressive collection of contemporary African talent. Bold, powerful and engaging, the artists take on the issues of race and racial discrimination. After years of being ignored, African Art has come into its own and is increasingly finding international recognition. Ubuntu highlights works by young talent from the contemporary African art scene, selected from the Harry David Art Collection, and presented in five specially designed rooms at the National Museum of Contemporary Art Athens (EMST). Five curators, Osei Bonsu (Curator at Tate Modern), Rashid Johnson (Visual Artist), Elvira Dyangani Ose (Director of The Showroom art space), Emily Tsingou (Art Advisor to the Harry David Art Collection), Burkhard Varnholt (Collector, Founder of KINDL Centre for Contemporary Art) each take on a ‘room’, creating different discourses and approaches.
The South African term UBUNTU can be translated as ‘humanness’, ‘humanity towards others’, as a sense of human nature and a spirit of shared humanity. As a starting point for this exhibition, the phrase highlights the notion of a community and a spirit of sharing. The political, historical and cultural polyphony that characterizes post-colonial Africa and expresses the constantly shifting conditions of the African continent lies at the core of the works in the exhibition, and is explored through a variety of themes, concepts and ideas, touching upon slavery and its history, racism and exploitation, segregation and apartheid, war, civil war, famine, cultural imperialism, race and gender, the ecological exploitation of Africa, African rites and rituals, African crafts traditions, representations of the black body, the notion of diaspora and displacement, the socio-political construction of skin colour, the experience of the immigrant, African history and memory, personal narratives and portraiture.
WHEN: Until 22 August, 2021.