Group Exhibition Always Moving Forward: Contemporary African Photography from The Wedge Collection

  • Mohamed Bourouissa
  • Mohamed Camara
  • Calvin Dondo
  • Samuel Fosso
  • Hassan Hajjaj
  • Bouchra Khalili
  • Lebohang Mashiloane
  • Aïda Muluneh
  • Dawit L. Petros
  • Zwelethu Mthethwa
  • Guy Tillim
  • Andrew Tshabangu
  • Nontsikelelo ‘Lolo’ Veleko
  • Antony Kaminju

Always Moving Forward: Contemporary African Photography from The Wedge Collection, is a selection of images by contemporary photographic artists of African origin.

Through a wide range of photographic practices, Always Moving Forward speaks to a world in which migrations, economies and cultures have all gone global. In these photos, emerging technologies, urbanization, and the influence of corporate advertising become source material for explorations of African identity.

Product packaging is used as wallpaper in Zwelethu Mthethwa’s powerful images of urban residents in post-apartheid South Africa. In Mohammed Bourouissa’s carefully staged tableaux, cellphones serve as documentation device and social signifier. In his survey of the new moneyed subculture from Soweto known as the “Black Diamonds”, Antony Kimani presents a t-shirt that re-imagines the ubiquitous “I (Heart) NY” as “I (Africa) NY”. Globalization is the subject of Hassan Hajjaj’s mash-up of corporate logos. Each of the artists in this exhibition responds to the realities of African societies in transition and the ever-present forces of capitalism. In doing so, they rework the codes of visual culture into their own relevant vocabularies.

For a panel discussion and curator's tour see events. Concurrently, the Gallery 44 vitrines will feature new work from Wedge Collection artist Megan Morgan, Mrs. White, Mrs. Brown, Mrs. Black, 2010.

Curated by 0

Aïda Muluneh (b. Ethiopia, 1974) spent her childhood between Yemen and England. She settled in Calgary, Alberta in 1985, where she attended high school before studying at Howard University in Washington D.C. She is the 2007 recipient of the European Union Prize in the Rencontres Africaines de la Photographie in Mali; the 2010 winner of the CRAF International Award of Photography in Italy; and a 2018 CatchLight Fellow in San Francisco, USA. In 2019, Muluneh became the first black woman to co-curate the Nobel Peace Prize exhibition and returned in 2020 as a commissioned artist. As an educator and cultural entrepreneur, she develops local and international projects in Ethiopia and Côte d’Ivoire.

Dawit L. Petros, born in Eritrea, lives and works in Chicago and Montreal. He spent his formative years in Ethiopia and Kenya before settling in Saskatchewan with his family in the 1980s. These experiences of migration helped shape his artistic practice. Through his work, Petros investigates the entanglements of colonialism and modernism that bind Africa and Europe, from both a historical and contemporary point of view. While his core medium is photography, he works across a range of other media, including sculpture, video, sound and installation. His photographs raise questions about displacement, identity and the transnational experience of cultural negotiation.