Skip to Main Content

FOTOFEST 2022: African Cosmologies Redux

visit website

African Cosmologies: Redux is an adaptation of the acclaimed FotoFest Biennial 2020 exhibition, African Cosmologies: Photography, Time, and the Other, featuring artists included in the original iteration of that exhibition and complemented by a series of programs.

Curated by Mark Sealy, Director of the renowned London-based photographic art institution Autograph ABP, African Cosmologies: Redux is a large-scale group exhibition that examines the complex relationships between contemporary life in Africa, the African diaspora, and global histories of colonialism, photography, and rights and representation. The exhibition considers the history of photography as one closely tied to a colonial project and Western image production, highlighting artists who confront and challenge this shortsighted, albeit canonized lineage.

Taking its cues from John Coltrane’s avant-garde jazz oeuvre, wherein formal modernisms of the past are made complex by radical imagination and black- futurity, this presentation of diverse ideas, artistic approaches, and material histories proposes a “cosmological exploration” of Africa and the African diaspora— one that defies easy categorization and spatial and temporal boundaries. Succinctly, it explores the very notions of Africa and Africanness beyond traditional geographic and historical lines.

The artists featured in African Cosmologies: Redux turn an eye to social, cultural, and political conditions that inform and influence concepts of representation as they pertain to image production and circulation within Africa and beyond. These artists question the ways in which subjectivity is constructed and deconstructed by the camera, and in the process, reveal legacies of resistance by those who defy traditional ideas of sexual, racial, gender-based, and other marginalized identities.

African Cosmologies: Redux is presented in venues city-wide including at Spring Street Studios at Sawyer Yards, The Alta Arts, the Houston Museum of African American Culture, and the Menil Collection.

This exhibition is accompanied by a Biennial Book, co-published by FotoFest Inc. and Schilt Publishing, and features texts by curator Mark Sealy and leading voices in literature, theory, and visual art as well as beautiful images of works by the exhibition artists. The Biennial Book can be purchased at Silver Street Studios, Whitehall Houston Hotel, and online.

The artists featured in the African Cosmologies: Redux exhibition include:

Spring Street Studios:
Akinbode Akinbiyi, James Barnor, Edson Chagas, Ernest Cole, Jean Depara, Laura El-Tantawy, Lyle Ashton Harris, Samson Kambalu, Rotimi Fani-Kayode, leo with Shobun Baile, Santu Mofokeng, Sethembile Msezane, Zanele Muholi, Eustáquio Neves, Nyaba L. Ouedraogo, Rosana Paulino, Dawit L. Petros, Zina Saro-Wiwa, Aida Silvestri, Lindokuhle Sobekwa, and Wilfred Ukpong

The Alta Arts:
Sammy Baloji & Mónica de Miranda

Houston Museum of African American Culture:
 Faisal Abdu’Allah, Hélène A. Amouzou, Bruno Boudjelal, Jamal Cyrus, Rahima Gambo, Eric Gyamfi, Santu Mofokeng

The Menil Collection:
Samuel Fosso