Exploring the generative slippages between contemporary art, photography, fashion, object and furniture design, architecture and urbanism, 1-54 Forum London 2016 sought to demonstrate the influence and confluence of African perspectives in contemporary art and design with that of diverse aesthetics and material practices around the world. As part of a wide appraisal of interdisciplinary material practice, 1-54 Forum investigated the proliferation of contemporary channels and modes of distribution – from the Internet to the various self-organising strategies afforded by the digital. This meant addressing how resources themselves are being repurposed and how artists and designers are responding to these shifts within ‘material’ or ‘immaterial’ classifications. 1-54 Forum is curated by Koyo Kouoh (Artistic Director, Raw Material Company, Dakar).

1-54 Forum Film, a curated series of film screenings, comprised of four sections: ‘Profile’; ‘Video and Performance’; ‘Design and Cultural Production’; ‘Architecture and Research’; with works by Maurice Mbikayi, Rashid Ali and Andrew Cross, NLÉ, Zohra Opoku, Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum, Jackie Karuti, Longinos Nagila and Mohau Modisakeng.

Thursday 6 October

1-54 Forum Film


Opening Remarks: Material Propositions

Opening Remarks by Koyo Kouoh (Curator of 1-54 Forum) on Material Propositions

Dandyism and Black Masculinity

Ekow Eshun (Cultural commentator and curator of the exhibition Made You Look: Dandyism and Black Masculinitydiscusses themes of race, identity and style as radical personal politics in the work of artists such as Samuel Fosso, Malick Sidibé and Hassan Hajjaj.


Artist talk: Serge Attukwei Clottey

Serge Attukwei Clottey in conversation with Nana Oforiatta Ayim (Creative Director of Gallery 1957, Accra and Founding Director of cultural research initiative, ANO).


Artist talk: Rediscovering the ordinary

Michele Mathison in conversation with Liese Van Der Watt (Critic). Referencing South African writer Njabulo Ndebele’s injunction to rediscover the power of the ordinary, this conversation focuses on Mathison’s sculptural practice which shows us how the ordinary is intimately connected to and revealing of wider political circuits of labour and cultivation, of power, globalisation and migrancy.


Friday 7 October

1-54 Forum Film


African Design: Locating ‘It’ and its Constituents

Aaron Kohn (Executive Director, Museum of African Design, Johannesburg) with comments from Mark Rappolt (Editor-in-Chief, ArtReview).


Artist talk: Without beginning or end

Joël Andrianomearisoa in conversation with Huguette Malamba (Programme Specialist & Director of Diversity and Cultural Development, l’Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie).

The conversation is in French with English interpretation.



A discussion between Princess Alia Al-Senussi (Academic and Patron), Phoebe Boswell (Artist) and Ifeanyi Oganwu (Architect, Designer and Director at Expand Design Ltd, London) on their collaborative project for the 1-54 Lounge and bookshop and more broadly their approach to interdisciplinary practice.


Saturday 8 October

1-54 Forum Film


Why Design Matters

How objects and post design ideals formulate contemporaneity of the pan African Aesthetic in a globalised world. Chaired by Azu Nwagbogu (Founding Director, African Artists’ Foundation, Lagos and LagosPhoto Festival) with Amelie Klein (Curator, Vitra Design Museum, Weil am Rhein) and artists Karo Akpokiere and Hassan Hajjaj.


‘Antidisciplinarity’ in Architecture

A discussion examining some of the sociopolitical, cultural, and urban conditions that underpin design and collaborative practice. Architecture in Africa is changing the way we look at the continent, and architects are more often than ever being asked to solve problems beyond their domain. Chaired by Aaron Kohn (Executive Director, Museum of African Design, Johannesburg) with Kunlé Adeyemi (Founding Director, NLÉ, Amsterdam), Rashid Ali (Founding Director, Rashid Ali Architects, London) and artist Driss Ouadahi.

Part of this conversation is in French with English interpretation.


Africa in Practice: an architectural dialogue

Aaron Kohn (Executive Director, Museum of African Design, Johannesburg) in conversation with Glenn DeRoche (Project Lead for Africa Projects, Adjaye Associates, London). DeRoche has worked on projects in North America, Europe, and Africa. Based in London, he now oversees projects across Africa and has worked on opening an office in Accra. Global firms like Adjaye Associates are (re)turning to Africa in different capacities which means a new practice for many.


Sunday 9 October

1-54 Forum Film


Malick Sidibé: The People’s Photographer, a Malian Legend

Kerryn Greenberg (Curator, International Art at Tate Modern) discussing the artist’s work and legacy with André Magnin (Director of MAGNIN-A and author of the first monograph of Malick Sidibé).

Part of this conversation is in French with English interpretation.

‘Malick Sidibé: The Eye of Modern Mali’ continues at Somerset House until 15 January 2017.


Book Launch & Screening: Nana Oforiatta Ayim: Agbako: Untold

The launch of ANO’s Limited Edition Books on Arts & Culture. A film and book on new museum and architectural models for a Ghanaian, and for wider African contexts. This edition is designed by young architect and artist Latifah Idriss, and supported by Gallery 1957.


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All past 1-54 Forum, VIP and Special Project events can also be listened to on iTunes, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts and Amazon Music, amongst other podcast distribution platforms. Subscribe here