The first in a series of monthly film portraits, both archive and catalyst, documenting artists from Ghana and its Diasporas.
Serge Attukwei Clottey’s performance work, expressed collectively through the group GoLokal, straddles the fields of art and social theatre. Reminiscent of the poets of the classical Apaeɛ, who had the freedom to critique and satirise authority within performance, as well as of Augusto Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed and Bertold Brecht’s dialectical theatre.
Independence Day, shown here, looks at the irony of government’s failure to supply basic needs on a day of national celebration. Earlier pieces like The Election critique government bribery and youth coercion during the last election. Europe in the Eyes of Africa satirises the generalised and relative freedom Europeans enjoy in Africa versus restrictions of Africans in Europe. Using sculpture, painting, and design, he manages to create an embodied critique that quietly, playfully, provokes and subverts.
The second in a series of monthly film portraits, both archive and catalyst, documenting artists from Ghana and its Diasporas.
Zohra Opoku’s installations, videos and performances magnify underlying geometries and patterns of the everyday. Like Ashanti and Ewe Kente weavers, and artists such as Atta Kwami before her, she creates coded meanings, juxtaposes layers and textures into a polyrhythmic symphony of form; similar to many Dada and Fluxus artists, she draws on ready materials, remodelling and reinvigorating them with new meaning.
She takes on the notion of the non-separation of art and life through pieces like Ghetto House, playing on the idea that there is beauty even in the most downtrodden; through series that translate the tarpaulins of trucks and car covers into gallery or museum installations; by rediscovering the semantic nature of cloth in Ghanaian culture, in the sartorial clues left on a clothesline and in the quietly subversive act of amending an Agbada meant by tradition, shape and size for men into one for women. By tracing the ever-changing form of fabric and material, she captures this very fluidity for herself and for what art might be or do.
Monthly series, archive, catalyst and resource of contemporary culture in Ghana and its Diasporas. ANO is a research foundation founded in 2002 that produces films, research, publications, exhibitions and events. anoghana.org