Dakar - The 2014 Dakar art Biennale has veered off its beaten part to showcase the works of artists who have never taken part in the biannual art fiesta.
This edition is curated by three creative minds whose
task included selecting from a list of these never seen before artists
on a global scale.
A total 65 names were selected from a large
pool of about 7 000 artists by curator Ugochukwu “smooth” Nzewi, who
argued they reflected the theme of the 2014 edition which is "Producing
This year the African and non-African diaspora
artists who have been part of the Dak’Art biennales since its inception
in 1992 have increased in number, thereby presenting a challenge to home
grown inventive talent.
The alternative space being provided at
Dak’Art for artists not selected for the exhibition has also evolved to a
more coordinated place where artists can be part of the event without
being in the main show.
The official opening, which was held at
the Grand Theatre in Dakar on Saturday, had the prime minister of
Senegal, Aminata Toure representing the Senegalese president, Macky
Sall, and ministers of culture from Senegal, Morroco and Algeria.
Olu Amoda won the Great Prize Léopold Sédar Senghor for producing the
best work among selected artists. He was joint winner with Algeria’s
The curators for this year’s edition include
Ugochukwu-Smooth C. Nzewi, who is originally from Nigeria and is an
artist, curator, and art historian of African Art at the Hood Museum
Dartmouth College in the United States. He took charge of selecting
artists from African countries south of the Sahara.
Atangana is a Paris based independent producer and curator and was
responsible for the selection of Diaspora artists, while Algerian
curator, Abdelkader Damani, selected artists from North Africa.
Dakar Biennale started in 1989 as a biennale alternating literature and
art, with the first edition in 1990 on literature and the second on
In 1996, it was renamed the Dakar Art Biennale and
became devoted to contemporary African Art. In 2000, the Senegalese
government became a permanent supporter of the biennale.