African Spirits Opening Thursday, July 11 at Yossi Milo Gallery, 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm. On view through August 23.
Your standard art history education tends to stay pretty Eurocentric, so some people might not know that portrait photography has had quite a heyday in Africa, dating back to the early 1900s, when both European visitors and African locals experimented more and more with the form. The 1950s through the 1980s were considered the “golden age” of portraiture in West Africa, and images from this time will be showcased in a new group exhibition at Chelsea’s Yossi Milo Gallery, which range from staged studio imagery to more candid nightlife captures. These photos will be displayed alongside works from more contemporary photographers of all stripes.
Did you know there is a recently-excavated mass grave in Athens, Greece with contents dating back to 7 B.C., including “eighty shackled skeletons” with great teeth? Artist and current resident at the International Studio and Curatorial Program Hikaru Fujii does, and he’s spent a lot of time documenting and learning about this curious piece of history. The result of this work will be on view in The Primary Fact, the artist’s first solo exhibition in the U.S. It features predominantly video and photography, focusing on the “inconclusive scientific viewpoints” that have emerged about the grave, its contents, and its history. In addition to displaying actual imagery from the Athenian grave, Fujii also assembled a group of Greek men to recreate the choreographic moment of mass execution (presumably due to a political coup) that led to this grave in the first place. More →