Two Together inaugurates a dedicated space for the Zeitz MOCAA Collection and is built around major themes explored by artists from Africa and its diaspora who are represented in the collection. Each of the galleries that comprise this show contains a pair: either two objects or multiple works by two artists or two major themes – either in dialogue, as counterpoints or in complementary ways. As couples for, in comedic duos or in romance, the exhibition embraces a rigorous engagement between objects and ideas.
So what happens when two come together? Speaking from contrasting geopolitical vantage points, two can highlight the perpetual and impeding undertone of violence manifested in a present-day psyche. The numerous lines between collective memory, imagination and folklore are blurred when two artists use material to venerate and make visible intangible heritage.
When two come together, there can be a conversation around absence and nostalgia expressed by cutting or tearing images from archives or ripping apart strips of cloth, both done to express loss. Referencing the history of slave trades across the Atlantic or the Indian Oceans, two can use portraiture as a medium to reimagine routes journeyed by ancestors. Two together can amplify resistance. Using satire and sophistication, two can resist the imposed taxonomy of time, place, gender and history.
Participating artists in Two Together include:
Leonce Raphael Agbodjélou
Njideka Akunyili Crosby
Athi Patra Ruga
Listen to the AfriSam Audio Guide for this exhibition below: