Nate Lewis, Blurred Battles, 2018, Hand sculpted paper inkjet print, India ink, 66 x 55 cm, 26 x 22 in. Courtesy Pioneer Works

Founded by Touria El Glaoui in 2013, 1-54 is the leading international art fair dedicated to contemporary art from Africa and its diaspora with annual editions in London, New York and Marrakech. Drawing reference to the fifty-four countries that constitute the African continent, 1-54 is a sustainable and dynamic platform that is engaged in contemporary dialogue and exchange.

2018 Exhibitiors

50 Golborne, AFRONOVA GALLERY, Aicon Gallery, Burning in Water, Catinca Tabacaru, Elmarsa, Galerie Cecile Fakhoury, Gallery 1957, HUBERTY & BREYNE GALLERY, Jack Bell Gallery, James Cohan, Katharina Maria Raab, MAGNIN-A, Officine dell” Immagine, Retro Africa, Sapar Contemporary, Sulger-Buel Lovell, Tafeta, Tyburn Gallery, Vigo Gallery, Yossi Milo Gallery.

With every edition of 1-54, the fair aims to promote the best talent from all over the world both in the exhibited galleries and in 1-54’s non-profit section of the Special Projects.

This year, the Special Projects encompass a wide variety of media and touch upon extremely timely ideas, social issues and contemporary discourses. Hoping to bring faceted and fresh perspectives on art and culture, the selection of projects will showcase the work of a diverse array of artists from Africa and its diaspora.


Curated by Omar Berrada
4- 6 May 2018

‘There is less and less living room’, June Jordan laments in Moving towards Home, ‘and where are my loved ones?’ This may seem paradoxical within a fiercely political poem from 1982 written in solidarity with the Palestinians in Lebanon. But home is a capacious place, and fighting the powers of war begins by nurturing communities of affect. It begins, literally, in the living room. A poem is an embrace.

If oppression is embodied, then how do bodies become free? How do they enact performances of survival, performance as survival? This is about black intimacy. It is about resilient bonds on the verge of breaking. How do you build a sense of belonging? How does the invention of new, communal forms of life contribute to a reinvention of one’s own existence?
There are histories and herstories waiting to be exhumed. There are ancestors longing in silence. Our work is the work of generations.

Over three afternoons, FORUM will strive to make more living room by exploring the political potentials of intimacy. We will honour black feminist traditions and listen to the voices that have called upon us to liberate ourselves. We will dwell on the politics of African and diasporic bodies, as it finds expression in practices of language, ritual, protest, craft and care. We will consider the uses of solidarity in revolutionary Algiers and the possibilities of healing in post-apartheid South Africa. We will stage virtual encounters with intimate strangers, practice site-specific exercises in ‘getting well soon’, and reflect on rituals as modes of making kin, ways of resisting together.

Speakers, contributors, and performers include Derrick Adams, Sophia Azeb, Leilah Babirye, Hatim Belyamani, Phoebe Boswell, Aruna D’Souza, Emmanuel Iduma, NIC Kay, Lawrence Lemaoana, Joiri Minaya, Elaine Mokhtefi, Nontsikelelo Mutiti, Nkiru Nzegwu, Remi Onabanjo, Jay Pather, Zina Saro-Wiwa, and Serubiri Moses.

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