New York, October 10, 2017—Lehmann Maupin's booth at this year's FIAC Paris will feature a joint presentation of work by French-Algerian artist Kader Attia and South African artist Nicholas Hlobo. The practice of both artists demonstrates a hybridity informed by their own cultural heritage. Content grows from personal narratives and experiences, and these aspects of identity develop into an investigation of global concerns.
Drawing from his experience of living within two disparate cultures, Attia has developed a dynamic practice that examines the intricacies of social, historical, and cultural differences across the globe. His installations and sculptures offer a poetic yet highly explicit reading of the relationships between Western and non-Western cultures, and of their different strategies to deal with experiences of loss, wounds, and repair. Through complex investigations of architecture, the human body, literature, and history, Attia demonstrates how individual and cultural identity is constructed within the context of colonial domination and conflict. Using artifacts, discarded quotidian objects, and wartime ephemera, Attia transforms the exhibition space into one of introspection, allowing the viewer to become aware of the complicated and often inaccurate depiction of our multiple histories. Attia believes that through this type of reappropriation, which is closely linked to the dynamics of repair, the disparities between superior and inferior, traditional and modern, and exotic and familiar can begin to dissolve.
Following FIAC, Attia's work will be included in Prospect New Orleans, the citywide triennial, opening November 18, 2017, and the artist will also have a solo exhibition at The Power Plant in Toronto in January 2018; it will then travel to the Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center.
Hlobo began his career around the time that apartheid ended in the 1990s, when there was a new sense of freedom and national pride in South Africa. With the eradication of legalized and enforced discrimination and segregation, Hlobo and his peers were empowered to openly voice their opinions and ideas under the protection of these new laws. Hlobo's subtle commentary on the democratic realities of his home country and his concerns with the changing international discourse of art remain at the core of his work. Using tactile materials such as ribbon, leather, wood, and rubber detritus that he melds and weaves together, Hlobo creates intricate two- and three-dimensional hybrid objects. Each material holds a particular association with cultural, gendered, sexual, or ethnic identity. Placed next to one another, Hlobo's works create a complex visual narrative that reflects the cultural dichotomies of his native South Africa as well as those that exist around the world. His evocative, anthropomorphic imagery and metaphorically charged materials elucidate the artist's own multifaceted identity within the context of his South African heritage.
In addition to being part of On Site at FIAC at the Petit Palais, Hlobo's work will also be featured as part of this year's Performa 17, the biennale for performance art, running from November 1-19, 2017, in New York.
During FIAC 2017,
La Colonie, a cross-disciplinary space for art, music, critical thinking, debate, and cultural activism founded by Attia in 2016, in collaboration with Afrikadaa magazine, will host the first edition of Le Salon du Livre d'Art des Afriques, The Africas Art Book Salon. The fair will present a wide selection of international independent publishers and artists, as well as panel discussions and performances in partnership with FIAC. La Colonie will also host a closing party for FIAC on Sunday, October 22, from 10 PM-1 AM. Programming at La Colonie is free and open to the public.
About Lehmann Maupin
Founded in 1996 by partners Rachel Lehmann and David Maupin, Lehmann Maupin has fostered the careers of a diverse group of internationally renowned artists, both emerging and established, working in multiple disciplines and across varied media. With three locations—two in New York and one in Hong Kong—the gallery represents artists from the United States, Europe, Asia, South America, Africa, and the Middle East. Known for championing artists who create groundbreaking and challenging forms of visual expression, Lehmann Maupin presents work highlighting personal investigations and individual narratives through conceptual approaches that often address such issues as gender, class, religion, history, politics, and globalism.
Hlobo will also participate in On Site at the Petit Palais with his installation Mphephethe uthe cwaka (2017). Made from bent and manipulated brass instruments, Hlobo's installation stands as a silent orchestra. The title, in his native Xhosa language, translates as "blowing them in silence," relating to the power of music and sound, particularly the universality of the horn. The title also has sexual connotations, echoed through the phallic bronze mouthpieces attached to each sculpture. Hlobo relates the act of playing the instruments to oral sex. This installation captures the rhythmic movement seen throughout Hlobo's oeuvre, and explores themes of transformation, fluidity, and ritual.
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Thursday, October 19th & Friday, October 20th: from noon to 8pm
Saturday, October 21st & Sunday, October 22nd: from noon to 7pm