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New York-Based Curator Dexter Wimberly Is Bringing The Work Of These 4 African Artists To North Carolina

A new exhibition in Raleigh will spotlight the work of four African artists based in the U.S.

Kindred, 2014, graphite, ink, pigment, enamel, photo transfers, glitter on paper, 80” x 78”

Photo courtesy of Tiwani Contemporary, London and the artist


New York-based independent curator Dexter Wimberly is a new school force in the contemporary art world. Next month, the former Director of Strategic Planning at Independent Curators International is headed to Raleigh, North Carolina, as the curator of an ambitious new spotlight on African artists.

The Ease of Fiction will bring together the work of four U.S.-based African artists–ruby onyinyechi amanze (b. 1982, Nigeria), Duhirwe Rushemeza (b. 1977, Rwanda), Sherin Guirguis (b. 1974, Egypt), and Meleko Mokgosi (b. 1981, Botswana)–as “the foundation of a critical discussion about history, fact and fiction.”

According to information provided in a press release:

The exhibition’s title evokes the idea that people are often more comfortable accepting or believing what is told them by those in power, rather than challenging and investigating the authenticity of information presented as historical fact. Interweaving their personal experiences and memories into broader historical contexts, these artists create work that is in strident opposition of passive acceptance.

The artists' cultural backgrounds, as well as geographic diversity, create an opportunity for a provocative examination of varied perspectives of the truth. Although these artists are from four different African countries their work addresses universal issues that are relevant across all borders.

The Ease of Fiction is on view at CAM Raleigh in Raleigh, North Carolina, March 3 through June 19, 2016. Head here for more information and check out a selection of the artwork below.

Ruse of Disavowal, 2013, oil and charcoal on canvas. Photo courtesy of Honor Fraser Gallery, Los Angeles and the artist. Installation view: Lyon Biennale, Museum of Contemporary Art, Lyon, France
Untitled (Babel Hadeed) 2013, mixed media on hand-cut paper, 108 x 72 inches. Photo courtesy of The Third Line Gallery, Dubai and the artist
Red Ochre, White, and Blue, 2014. Thin Set Mortar, Wood, Acrylic, and Metal Detritus, 48" x 48" x 5" Photo courtesy of the artist

Interview

Interview: Terri Is Stepping Out of the Shadows

We talk to the Wizkid-signed artist about the story behind the massive hit "Soco" and his latest Afro Series EP.

Certain afrobeats songs have made in-roads in international markets and paved the way for the genre's ceaselessly-rising widespread recognition. Among these history-defining songs were D'banj's "Oliver Twist," Tekno's "Pana," Davido's "If" & "Fall," Runtown's "Mad Over You," and of course, Wizkid's "Soco." Wizkid released "Soco" under his label imprint, Starboy Entertainment in March 2018, and the song spread like wildfire across Africa and beyond. "Soco" was an Afro-pop wonder delivered at a time when the 'afrobeats to the world' movement was gathering steam, further cementing its electric nature. The Northboi-produced song was co-signed by celebrities across the world like Rihanna, Cardi B, and Paul Pogba and has accrued well over a hundred million streams across streaming platforms worldwide.

"Soco" was not only a trailblazer amongst mid-2010s afrobeats records, it was also the introduction of the first Wizkid-signed artist, Terri. Just weeks before "Soco" was released, Terri was discovered by Wizkid's longtime producer, Mutay, who saw him covering the song "Oshe" on social media.

Before "Soco," Terri Akewe was well on his way to fame. At fifteen, he had performed at street carnivals in his neighbourhood and, one time, was carried all the way home by neighbours after winning a Coca-Cola sponsored singing competition. Before his life-changing meeting with Wizkid, Terri had a seven-track EP ready for release, as well as a viral song titled "Voices." "One time I was on set with the video director T.G Omori, he told me that 'Voices' was the first time he heard of me" Terri tells me as we settle on a plush couch at his home in Lagos.

Regardless of Terri's initial career trajectory; signing to a label headed by afrobeats' biggest superstar was bound to accelerate his musical journey, and at the same time, cast a huge shadow of expectation on his career, especially given a debut as spectacular as "Soco." With his latest EP, Afro Series, powered by the sensational single "Ojoro," one thing is clear: Terri is stepping out of the shadows into his own spotlight and he is doing it on his own terms.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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