Arts + Culture

Fictitious Lagos Couple Host 'The African Renaissance,' A New Conceptual Art Exhibition In London

Fictitious Lagos couple The Affogbolos host 'The African Renaissance,' a new three-part conceptual art exhibition in London.

Photos: 'The African Renaissance' Phase 1, provided by 50 Golborne


The African Renaissance is a new conceptual art and design exhibition currently on display at London's 50 Golborne gallery space. The show uses the Affogbolos, a fictitious Lagos-based couple conceived by curator Pierre-Christophe Gam, as its experimental framework. The Affogbolos' home serves as the setting for a multimedia artistic experience that investigates the convergence between contemporary art, design and craft from Africa and the diaspora in the context of a broader global dialogue.

According to Gam's mythology, architect Kolade Affogbolo and his Angolan lawyer wife, Remi, are two young professionals "passionate about art, design and culture," whose home and lifestyle embody Africa's future golden age, albeit an idealized one. Gam, a French-born art director and cultural entrepreneur whose Cameroonian, Chadian and Egyptian heritage informed his pan-African approach to the show, explores the socio-cultural dynamics at the heart of life in Africa's major cities by highlighting artists and designers from the continent whose works investigate the crossroads of modernity and tradition.

The African Renaissance is divided into three phases with each segment focusing on different facets of African design and creative ingenuity. The first phase, which runs until March 15th, features Kenyan sculptor Cyrus Kabiru's afrofuturist C-Stunner eyewear, handwoven home furnishings from Malian architect and designer Cheick Diallo, Congolese photojournalist Badouin Mouanda's vibrant portraits of Brazzaville's Sapeurs, South African ceramic art and Namsa Leuba's photographic meditations of Guinean ritual cosmology and consumer habits of Africa's middle class.

Gam approached his frequent collaborator, and 50 Golborne owner, Pascale Revert, with the idea for the show early on, and she shed insight on the motivation and initial discussions she had with the artist about the exhibit. "[Gam] had a show in mind that would be like the home interior of an imaginary young  couple from, say, Lagos," she shared via e-mail. "From there we built up the exhibition, mixing photography and design. We chose artists and designers whose work breaks the artificially built boundaries between art, design and craft to show Africa's contemporary creative energy."

Scroll through the gallery above for a selection of works by the exhibiting artists in the show's first phase. For more information on Afro-Polis and Perimeter Art and Design's The African Renaissance in London, click here.

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