Akutia: Blindfolding the Sun and the Poetics of Peace is a retrospective exhibition that traces the lifework of dynamic Ghanaian artist, dramatist, and educator Agyeman Ossei (Dota) its earliest days in the 1980s.
Remaining true to the artist’s irreverent attitude to art, the exhibition amplifies the dialogic relations between the linguistic, structural, and formal elements operative in Ossei’s work— inspired by Asante proverbial culture and philosophy, folk/Highlife music, and poetry translated via collage, drama, literature, painting, sculpture, video, and new media. As an artist whose aesthetic and cultural sensibilities have been shaped as much by formal education as by the “farmers and so called bums” he encountered during the inspired “Koforidua years” in the early 1990s, Ossei experimentally weaves a secular linkage between the traditional, modernist and extra-modernist elements evidenced in his practice.
This landmark exhibition marks twenty-seven years since the artist’s preceding solo exhibition and will run between Savanna Center for Contemporary Art (SCCA) Tamale and its sister institution, Red Clay, located in neighboring Janna Kpeŋŋ in the Northern Region of Ghana. To complement the main exhibitions, a rich lineup of live and virtual events encompassing other areas of the artist’s interests, ranging from musical concerts, theater, workshops, film screenings, and many more, will be programmed throughout the year.
These events are designed to adhere to the requisite COVID-19 guidelines provided by the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, and the Government of Ghana. There will also be a radio play, translated into Dagbani, which will circulate on airwaves, podcasts, and digital listening stations in Ghana and around the world.
The exhibition acknowledges the kind support of the Center for National Culture in Tamale, blaxTARLINES KUMASI, Foundation for Contemporary Art – Ghana, and Exit Frame Collective.
SCCA Tamale is an artist-run institution that functions as project space, exhibition and research hub, cultural repository and artists’ residency. It is the initiative of world-renowned Ghanaian artist Ibrahim Mahama as a contribution to the development and expansion of infrastructure for contemporary art in Ghana.
Since its opening in 2019 the institution has dedicated its programming to unravelling modernist and contemporary histories in Ghanaian art beginning with its twentieth century progenitors. Akutia: Blindfolding the Sun and the Poetics of Peace is the sophomore exhibition in this regard. Affiliated to blaxTARLINES KUMASI, SCCA works to produce and share knowledge through exhibitions, workshops, publications and allied activities.
Click on the comment box below and leave us your thoughts. Thank you