After the End: Timing Socialism in Contemporary African Art at Wallach Art Gallery



Filipe Branquinho, Jorge Macate, Padeiro (Jorge Macate, Baker), 2011. Courtesy the artist.

After the End: Timing Socialism in Contemporary African Art presents a selection of works engaging with the history of African socialisms. It features artists looking at countries including Angola, Ethiopia, Guinea-Bissau and Mozambique. The exhibition is the first in North America to explore aesthetic responses to African socialisms and their aftermath.

Less than thirty years since independence from colonialism, the end of the Cold War brought down socialist governments and sparked a wave of upheaval among young African nations. The need to reimagine national narratives gave rise to a generation of artists that seek to make sense of the dramatic shifts witnessed by their countries.

Far from situating socialism within a fixed past, these artists complicate it through various constructions of time including nostalgia, repetition, historicism, contemporaneity and utopia. Their work investigates how temporality shapes new forms of politics, history, subjectivity and the turn to neoliberal global politics.

After the End: Timing Socialism in Contemporary African Art, curated by Álvaro Luís Lima, will be on view from June 15 to October 13, 2019 at The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery, Lenfest Center for the Arts, Columbia University, 615 West 129th Street, NYC. The gallery and exhibitions are free and open to the public.