News

A New Exhibition In Accra Celebrates The Future Of Ghanaian Contemporary Art

Accra exhibition 'the Gown must go to Town' celebrates the future of Ghanaian contemporary art with work by El Anatsui, Ibrahim Mahama & more

Taking its name from a line in Kwame Nkrumah's 1963 speech The African Genius, the Gown must go to Town is a new exhibition currently on display at the Museum of Science and Technology in Accra. Honoring two of Ghana's representatives at the 56th Venice Biennale, the show highlights Ibrahim Mahama's participation as the youngest artist of the All the World's Futures exhibition as well as Ghanaian sculptor El Anatsui for receiving the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the Biennale.


Presented by blaxTARLINES KUMASI, a new project space for contemporary art founded by the Department of Painting and Sculpture at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST)– where both Mahama and El Anatsui are alums– the exhibition also doubles as an end-of-year show for students of the department. According to an official statement, the department has risen to become a hub of ambitious contemporary art in West Africa in the last ten years thanks to a "new spirit of contemporaneity, material and political sensitivity, and reflective public engagement" inspired by the teachings of faculty member karî'kacha seid’ou.

In addition to the two honorees, the exhibition features the work of over 50 artists, including special guests Dorothy Amenuke, Edwin Bodjawah, Afia Sarpong Prempeh, Jeremiah Quarshie, Selasi Awusi Sosu and students from the graduating classes of 2015 and 2014.

The Gown Must Go To Town runs through July 17th at the Museum of Science and Technology in Accra.

Update: Due to high demand, 'the Gown must go to Town' has been extended until August 1st.

Music

Interview: Ranks ATM Makes ‘Substance Music’

South African hip-hop artist Ranks ATM on his latest EP 'Substance Music', working with Riky Rick and his crew African Trap Movement's new chapter.

Ranks ATM demands to be taken seriously. With every successive release, listeners are bound to pick up on both his personal and artistic growth. His latest EP, Substance Music, released towards the end of 2020, is an honest body of work that sees the artist divulge some aspects of his life while remaining playful and entertaining.

Young2unn, who produced a majority of the project, gave Ranks ATM beats that primarily consist of keys and strings cushioned by atmospheric pads and ethereal vocal samples panned for effect. The music is soulful enough for Ranks to tell his story and gritty enough to maintain his street aesthetic.

On Substance Music, the artist strikes the balance between playful banter and poignant expression of emotions. It's what makes his raps believable in general—he presents himself as a complete human who feels pain at times but also feels himself. Songs such as "Die For Me" and "How Could It Be" are laced with specific details that could have only been extracted from his life experiences, for instance, on the former, he raps, "You cheated on me with a gym freak, you did me dirty."

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