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1-54 Marrakech x Fondation TGCC

1-54 is pleased to announce its partnership: Fondation TGCC is honored to endorse 1-54 as a steadfast sponsor from its inaugural edition in Marrakech. Established in 2017, Fondation TGCC is dedicated to advancing and democratizing contemporary art via Artorium Art Space and philanthropic endeavors. Its core objective is to safeguard, disseminate, and illuminate culture by steadfastly enriching Morocco’s cultural fabric. This season, the foundation will participate at DaDa, disseminating insights about its commitment to nurturing emerging contemporary artists through the Prix Mustaqbal initiative.

What is the main mission of  Fondation TGCC and how does it align with the values of the Mustaqbal Prize?

Fondation TGCC, established in 2017, works towards promoting contemporary art and artistic fervour through its Artorium Art Space, its charitable actions, and its contemporary young creation competition, the Mustaqbal Prize. Throughout the year, exhibitions and events of the cultural season aim to highlight Moroccan artistic heritage, facilitate access to art, and create connections with the public. The foundation fundamentally believes in the necessity of supporting young contemporary creation, which is why it has been operating the Mustaqbal Prize since 2021.

 

How does Fondation TGCC envision the contribution of the Mustaqbal Prize to its broader goal of promoting and impacting the Art and Culture sector?

First and foremost, it is imperative to create bridges between emerging artists and established artists. Additionally, we structure the call for applications during the jury selection phase and exhibitions in a way that brings culture professionals together with young creators. These connections often lead to interesting perspectives for the entire ecosystem.

 

Could you share perspectives on the values guiding Fondation TGCC’s initiatives?

The foundation’s mission is to preserve, transmit, and reveal culture through its involvement in the country’s cultural landscape. Preservation involves organizing exhibitions, conferences on cultural themes, and book signings, among other activities. Transmission happens through school visits, workshops, and organized meetings for artists. Revealing artistic emergence involves supporting and accompanying them in their artistic practices through the Mustaqbal Prize, a competition for young contemporary creation launched in 2021.

 

As a sponsor of 1-54, in what ways does Fondation TGCC believe its participation fosters innovative thinking in the artistic and cultural domains, and how does this align with the company’s overall vision?

Fondation TGCC works for the accessibility of art to all audiences and aims to collaborate further with cultural pillars to ensure synergy between our structures and thus guarantee a comprehensive cultural offering.

 

How does the selection process for the Mustaqbal Prize work? What is the application procedure? What benefits would the winner derive from receiving this award?

The call for applications is open annually for several months. Artists submit their portfolios, and the jury, composed of professionals, art critics, and artists, deliberate to select the finalists. The winner is then announced during the collective exhibition of these finalists. The artist who wins the prize receives:

  • An exhibition at the Artorium art space,
  • A cash prize,
  • A residency at Jardin Rouge, supported by the Montresso Foundation.

 

What will be different for the 4th edition of the Mustaqbal Prize?

For this fourth edition, the competition is open to artists, trained or self-taught, aged 18 to 35, working in the mediums of drawing, painting, installation, or photography. This new edition of the Mustaqbal Prize offers thematic freedom and invites candidates to submit an intentional or existing artistic project, thus allowing the winner to work on their individual exhibition in 2025 on a subject of their choice.

 

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French version 

Quelle est la mission principale de TGCC et comment s’aligne-t-elle avec les valeurs du Prix Mustaqbal?

La Fondation TGCC, créée en 2017, œuvre pour la promotion de l’art contemporain et l’effervescence artistique à travers son Espace d’Art Artorium, ses actions caritatives et son concours de jeune création contemporaine, le Prix Mustaqbal. Tout au long de l’année, les expositions et les événements de la saison culturelle ont pour objectif de mettre en valeur le patrimoine artistique marocain, de faciliter l’accès à l’art et de créer le lien avec le public.
La fondation croit fondamentalement en la nécessité de soutenir la jeune création contemporaine, c’est ainsi qu’elle opère le Prix Mustaqbal depuis 2021.

Comment Fondation TGCC envisage-t-elle la contribution du Prix Mustaqbal à son objectif plus large de mettre en valeur et d’impacter le secteur de l’Art et la Culture?

Tout d’abord, il est impératif de créer des ponts entre les artistes émergents et les artistes confirmés. Egalement, nous articulons l’appel à candidature dans sa phase de sélection du jury ainsi que les expositions de sorte à faire rencontrer les professionnels de la culture avec la jeune création.
Ces liens donnent souvent naissance à des perspectives intéressantes pour l’ensemble de l’écosystème.

Pourriez-vous partager des perspectives sur les valeurs qui guident les initiatives de Fondation TGCC?

La fondation s’est donnée pour mission de préserver, transmettre et de révéler la culture par le biais de son implication dans le paysage culturel du pays. Préserver en organisant entre autres des expositions, des conférences autour de thématiques culturelles ou encore des signatures de livres. Transmettre à travers des visites scolaires et des ateliers, lors de rencontres organisées pour les artistes ou de différents workshops. Révéler l’émergence artistique en les soutenant et en les accompagnant dans leurs pratiques artistiques à travers le Prix Mustaqbal, concours de jeune création contemporaine lancé en 2021.

En tant que sponsor de 1-54, de quelle manière la Fondation TGCC estime-t-elle que sa participation favorise la réflexion novatrice dans les domaines artistiques et culturels, et comment cela s’aligne-t-il avec la vision globale de l’entreprise?

La Fondation TGCC œuvre pour l’accessibilité de l’art auprès de tous les publics, elle souhaite davantage collaborer avec les piliers de la culture afin d’assurer une synergie entre nos structures et ainsi garantir une offre culturelle complète.

Comment fonctionne le processus de sélection du Prix Mustaqbal? Quelle est la procédure de candidature? Quels avantages le lauréat retirerait-il de l’obtention de ce prix?

L’appel à candidatures est ouvert annuellement durant plusieurs mois. Les artistes soumettent leurs dossiers et le jury constitué de professionnels, de critiques d’art et d’artistes délibèrent afin de sélectionner les finalistes. Le gagnant est ensuite annoncé pendant l’exposition collective de ces derniers.
L’artiste qui remporte le prix gagne :

  • Une exposition au sein de l’espace d’art Artorium
  • Une dotation en numéraire
  • Une résidence à Jardin Rouge, soutenue par la Fondation Montresso*

 

Qu’est-ce qui sera différent pour la 4e édition du Prix Mustaqbal?

Pour cette quatrième édition, le concours s’adresse aux artistes formés ou autodidactes, âgés de 18 à 35 ans touchant aux médiums du dessin, de la peinture, de l’installation ou de la photographie. Cette nouvelle édition du Prix Mustaqbal propose une liberté de thématique et invite les candidats à soumettre un projet artistique intentionnel ou existant, sujet donc libre sur lequel le lauréat/la lauréate travaillera pour son exposition individuelle en 2025.

 

1-54 Marrakech x Istituto Marangoni

1-54 is excited to announce its collaboration with Istituto Marangoni for 1-54 Marrakech 2024. Join us for a talk on ‘Art and Fashion: Weaving Heritage into Aesthetics’ organized by Istituto Marangoni at La Mamounia Business Center on Saturday, February 10th, at 11 am. The talk will be followed by a networking session and cocktail reception at La Mamounia’s Moroccan restaurant at 12:30 pm. Book you spot HERE.

 

English Version

What constitutes the core mission of Istituto Marangoni and how does the institution actively pursue and embody this mission in its various educational and cultural initiatives?

 

Specialised in providing higher education in the fields of fashion, design and art, Istituto Marangoni focuses on a practical teaching approach, based on didactic projects developed in cooperation with leading luxury brands.  The pillar of Istituto Marangoni’s unique educational method lies in its Italian identity, a combination of craftsmanship, technique, a well-developed sense of aesthetics, and business acumen. Internationalism is another invaluable asset for Istituto Marangoni, offering its students the opportunity to live a global experience, with schools in Paris, Milan, Florence, London, Dubaï, Mumbai, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Miami. Academic Courses include extra-curricular activities, industry projects, workshops on specific subjects, seminars, lectures with VIP guests, showroom and museum visits, as well as guidance and assistance in international competitions, shows, career fairs, awards, and scholarships, plus a variety of student social events.

Can you share specific details about the upcoming talk organised by Istituto Marangoni in collaboration with the 1-54 Art Fair? What thematic aspects will be explored during the talk, and how does the event reflect the school’s dedication to nurturing cultural dialogue and fostering a deeper understanding through the medium of art?

 

Reflecting our core DNA, this talk on “Art and Fashion: Weaving Heritage into Aesthetics” explores how the fusion of art and fashion enriches our cultural heritage and contemporary aesthetics.  Creation is a by-product of human societies: there is no civilization in history who didn’t imprint their environment with their own vision of beauty through architecture, everyday or unique objects, and, substantially, art. This human need is common, but individual to every time place and society, and down to each single person, the drive to answer the eternal questions “who am I” “where do I come from” and “why am I here” always finds a way of expression that can span from symbolic to mundane means, through the uniquely personal voices of artists, but also the simple choice of everyday clothes. Art-to-look and Art-to-wear are two facets of this same human need, deeply rooted in tradition and history, ever-evolving with time and experience, weaving the rich tapestry of meaningful aesthetics.

What significance does Morocco hold for Istituto Marangoni, and why is it considered important for the institution to have a presence in the country? Are there specific goals or strategies in place to contribute to the local artistic and educational landscape?

 

Morocco holds a special significance for us, as it represents a vibrant intersection of diverse cultural influences and artistic expressions. And the current dynamic energy permeating the Moroccan artistic scene makes this moment particularly compelling for us.Our presence in the country underscores our commitment to fostering a global perspective in fashion and art education. We aim to contribute to the local artistic and educational landscape by engaging in meaningful collaborations, nurturing talent, and creating opportunities for talents.

 

1-54 Marrakech x Audi Maroc

1-54 is proud to once again be partnering with Audi Maroc for 1-54 Marrakech 2024. Audi maintains a creative dialogue with art and design: Art is created on the pulse of time and provides a perspective on developments of the future. As a progressive brand, Audi stands for modern, trendsetting design and seeks creative interaction. The support of visual arts and design therefore plays an important role for the company. The Audi Group is one of the most successful manufacturers of automobiles in the premium and luxury segments. 

 

English Version

What is the mission of Audi Morocco, and how do the company’s values align with the promotion of art and culture?

The mission of Audi Morocco revolves around three key elements: excellence, innovation, and creativity. Audi supports culture in various areas, including music, design, and contemporary art. The brand collaborates with artists and cultural institutions to create innovative and engaging projects for its customers. Audi’s commitment to culture in Munich began in 1962 when employees initiated the foundation of the Audi Philharmonic Wind Orchestra, reflecting its desire to foster and support culture. Since 2018, Audi Morocco has been a partner with the Moroccan Philharmonic Orchestra. By sponsoring concerts, the brand provides its audience with a wide variety of musical programs, from classical symphonic repertoire to contemporary music. For the past two years, Audi Morocco has also collaborated with the magazine Diptyk to produce videos showcasing the work of Moroccan artists. These videos allow the brand to highlight local contemporary art and introduce it to a broader audience. As a partner of the 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair, Audi Morocco is committed to promoting African art and culture on a national scale. This collaboration is a tangible illustration of Audi’s commitment to art and cultural diversity. It positions the brand as forward-thinking and enhances the experience of Audi customers, who can enjoy a rich and diverse cultural offering.

 

According to Audi, why is art considered an essential aspect, and how does it contribute to the overall vision and values of the company?

Art contributes to Audi’s overall vision and values in several ways. As a partner of the @1-54 Marrakech contemporary art fair, Audi goes beyond mere artistic promotion by specifically supporting the African art scene. By showcasing the works of emerging and established African artists, Audi demonstrates its commitment to cultural and artistic diversity. This collaboration with 1-54 allows Audi to actively contribute to the development and recognition of Moroccan artists. According to Audi, art is considered an essential aspect because it reflects the brand’s desire to adopt an avant-garde and innovative approach, showcasing itself as a progressive and culturally engaged brand.

 

How important does Audi consider the role of art in preserving cultural heritage, and how does this commitment manifest in the company’s initiatives?

Recognizing that art is an essential element of cultural heritage, Audi seeks to support and preserve cultural richness across generations. By encouraging local artistic creation, Audi contributes to the preservation of cultural heritage by fostering the continuous development of artistic expression rooted in Moroccan culture. Audi sponsors exhibitions and cultural events showcasing significant works of art. By creating dedicated spaces for art, the brand provides the public with the opportunity to discover, appreciate, and understand different forms of artistic expression. Audi will continue to support African art through its partnership with 1-54. The brand is convinced that contemporary African art is an important form of expression that deserves to be shared.

 

What motivated Audi to collaborate with 1-54, and how does it align with the company’s values?

This collaboration is motivated by several factors, including:

  • The opportunity to create unique experiences for Audi’s customers. Audi aims to provide its customers with unique and memorable experiences.
  • Collaborating with 1-54 allows the brand to create events and exhibitions that blend art, creativity, and luxury. Audi’s desire to connect with an audience passionate about art. Audi targets a dynamic professional audience passionate about art, culture, and innovation.
  • Collaborating with 1-54 is a way for Audi to reach this audience and position itself as a passionate and engaged brand. Audi and 1-54 share a commitment to contemporary art. Art is essential to African and Moroccan society, and this collaboration aims to promote contemporary art and make it more accessible to the brand’s audience

What makes this collaboration special, and how can it help art?

The collaboration between the Audi brand and 1-54 is special in several ways. Firstly, it is unique because it brings together two different worlds: the automotive world and the world of contemporary art. This collaboration shows that these two worlds can coexist and complement each other. Furthermore, 1-54 is at the forefront of the rise of contemporary African art in the international art market and has become a leading voice. This partnership can contribute to raising awareness of contemporary African art to a wider audience. By supporting 1-54, Audi aims to raise awareness among its customers about contemporary African art and contribute to its prominence.

 

French Version 

Quelle est la mission d’Audi Maroc, et comment les valeurs de l’entreprise s’alignent-elles avec la promotion de l’art et de la culture ?

La mission d’Audi Maroc s’articule autour de trois éléments clés : l’excellence, l’innovation et la créativité. Audi soutient la culture dans de nombreux domaines, notamment la musique, le design et l’art contemporain. La marque collabore avec des artistes et des institutions culturelles pour créer des projets innovants et engageants pour ses clients. L’engagement d’Audi à Munich a débuté en 1962 lorsque les employés ont initié la fondation de l’Audi Philharmonic Wind Orchestra, ce qui marque dès lors son désir de favoriser et de soutenir la culture. Audi Maroc est partenaire avec l’Orchestre Philharmonique du Maroc depuis 2018. En sponsorisant des concerts, la marque offre à son public une grande variété de programmes musicaux, du répertoire symphonique classique à la musique contemporaine. Également, depuis deux ans, Audi Maroc collabore également avec le magazine Diptyk pour produire des vidéos qui présentent le travail des artistes marocains. Ces vidéos permettent à la marque de mettre en lumière l’art contemporain local et ainsi le faire découvrir à une audience plus large. En tant que partenaire de la 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair, Audi Maroc s’engage à promouvoir l’art et la culture africaine à l’échelle nationale. Cette collaboration est une illustration concrète de l’engagement d’Audi en faveur de l’art et de la diversité culturelle. Cette implication lui permet de se positionner comme une marque avant-gardiste. Elle enrichit également l’expérience des clients Audi, qui peuvent profiter d’une offre culturelle riche et variée.

 

Selon Audi, pourquoi l’art est-il considéré comme un aspect essentiel, et Comment contribue-t-il à la vision globale et aux valeurs de l’entreprise ?

L’art contribue à la vision globale et aux valeurs de la marque d’Audi sur plusieurs volets. En tant que partenaire de la foire d’art contemporain @1-54 Marrakech, Audi va au-delà de la simple promotion artistique en soutenant spécifiquement la scène artistique africaine. En mettant en lumière les œuvres d’artistes africains émergents et établis, Audi démontre son engagement envers la diversité culturelle et artistique. Cette collaboration avec la 1-54 permet à Audi de contribuer activement au développement et à la reconnaissance des artistes marocains.

Ainsi, selon Audi, l’art est considéré comme un aspect essentiel car il reflète la volonté de la marque d’adopter une approche avant-gardiste et innovante, ce qui lui permet de démontrer que c’est une marque progressiste et culturellement engagée.

 

Quelle importance Audi accorde-t-elle au rôle de l’art dans la préservation du patrimoine culturel, et comment cet engagement se manifeste-t-il dans les initiatives de l’entreprise ?

En reconnaissant que l’art est un élément essentiel du patrimoine culturel, Audi cherche à soutenir et à préserver la richesse culturelle à travers les générations. En encourageant la création artistique locale, Audi contribue à la préservation du patrimoine culturel en favorisant le développement continu de l’expression artistique ancrée dans notre culture marocaine. Audi sponsorise des expositions et des événements culturels mettant en avant des œuvres d’art significatives. En créant des espaces dédiés à l’art, la marque offre au public l’opportunité de découvrir, apprécier et comprendre différentes formes d’expressions artistiques. Audi continuera à soutenir l’art africain à travers son partenariat avec la 1-54. La marque est convaincue que l’art contemporain africain est une forme d’expression importante qui mérite d’être partagée.

 

Qu’est ce qui à motiver Audi à collaborer avec 1-54, et comment cela correspond aux valeurs de la compagnie ?

Cette collaboration est motivée par plusieurs facteurs, notamment :

  • L’opportunité de créer des expériences uniques pour les clients d’Audi. Audi veut offrir à ses clients des expériences uniques et mémorables. La collaboration avec 1-54 permet à la marque de créer des événements et des expositions qui combinent art, créativité et luxe.
  • Le désir d’Audi de se connecter avec un public passionné par l’art. Audi cible un public professionnel dynamique et passionné par l’art, la culture, et l’innovation. La collaboration avec 1-54 est une façon pour Audi de toucher ce public et de se positionner comme une marque passionnée et engagée.
  • Audi et 1-54 partagent un engagement envers l’art contemporain. L‘art est essentiel à la société africaine et marocaine, et cette collaboration vise à promouvoir l’art contemporain et à le rendre plus accessible à l’audience de la marque.

Qu’est -ce qui rend cette collaboration spéciale et comment cela peut aider l’art ?

La collaboration entre la marque Audi et la 1-54 est spéciale à plusieurs égards. Tout d’abord, elle est unique parce qu’elle réunit deux mondes différents : le monde de l’automobile et le monde de l’art contemporain. Cette collaboration montre que les deux mondes peuvent coexister et se compléter. De plus, la 1-54 est le fer de lance de l’ascension de l’art contemporain africain sur le marché de l’art international et est devenu une voix de premier plan. Ce partenariat pourra contribuer à faire connaître l’art contemporain africain à une audience plus large. En soutenant la 1-54, Audi souhaite sensibiliser ses clients à l’art contemporain africain et contribuer à son rayonnement.

1-54 Marrakech – Galleries Announcement

1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair, is delighted to announce details of the upcoming Marrakech edition from 8-11 February 2024 (8 & 9 – VIP days, strictly by invitation).

For the first time, 1-54 will take place both at La Mamounia hotel and multidisciplinary art space DaDa in the heart of the bustling Medina. This exciting expansion is a testament to the fair’s success and demonstrates commitment to the dynamic Moroccan art scene. 

The 2024 Marrakech edition will welcome 27 exhibitors, including 14 galleries from the African continent, eight of which are based in Morocco.

List of Participating Galleries 

* Newcomers to the Marrakech edition

193 Gallery (Paris, France / Venice, Italy)

AFIKARIS (Paris, France)

African Arty (Casablanca, Morocco) *

CDA Gallery (Casablanca, Morocco)*

Christophe Person (Paris, France)*

Gallery 1957 (Accra, Ghana / London, UK) *

Galerie 208 (Paris, France) *

Galerie Atiss Dakar (Dakar, Senegal) *

Galerie Carole Kvasnevski (Paris, France / New York, USA)

Galerie SINIYA28 (Marrakech, Morocco)

Katharina Maria Raab (Berlin, Germany)

kó (Lagos, Nigeria)*

L’Atelier 21 (Casablanca, Morocco)

La Galerie 38 (Casablanca / Marrakech, Morocco)

Loft Art Gallery (Casablanca / Marrakech Morocco)

M CONCEPT Gallery (Dakar, Senegal) *

Myriem Himmich Gallery (Casablanca, Morocco) *

Nil Gallery (Paris, France)

Portas Vilaseca Galeria (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) *

Primo Marella Gallery (Milan, Italy / Lugano, Switzerland)

Reiners Contemporary Art (Marbella, Spain) *

Retro Africa (Abuja, Nigeria)

Revie Projects (Paris, France) *

So Art Gallery (Casablanca, Morocco) 

The African Art Hub (TAAH) (London, UK) *

The Bridge Gallery (Paris, France) *

THIS IS NOT A WHITE CUBE (Lisbon, Portugal / Luanda, Angola)

The Details:

Press preview

Thursday 08 February, 11:00 – 19:00

VIP preview (by invitation only)

Thursday 08 February, 11:00 – 19:00

Friday 09 February, 11:00 – 19:00

Public opening hours

Saturday 10 February, 11:00 – 19:00

Sunday 11 February, 11:00 – 18:00

Locations
La Mamounia
Avenue Bad Jdid,
Marrakech 40040,
Morocco
DaDa
2, place Jemaa El Fna
Marrakech Medina 40000,
Morocco

Book your ticket!

 

Caption: Girma Berta, Streets of Marrakech, Morocco_2, 2023, Fujiflex print, 76 x 53.7cm or 100 x 70cm, 2 Editions of 5 + 2 A.P. Courtesy of the artist and Nil Gallery

1-54 Spotlight- Amine El Gotaibi

Discover 1-54 Spotlight, a captivating new video & interview series content, delving into the extraordinary stories behind 1-54’s remarkable projects. This unique series not only showcases the creativity and innovation of unique project & personalities, offering a behind-the-scenes look at the passion and dedication driving each project forward.

As part of the inaugural 1-54 Spotlight series, delve into the first short documentary featuring Moroccan artist Amine El Gotaibi, realised by Karim Hapette. Explore the captivating narrative behind “Illuminate the Light”, 1-54 London’s courtyard installation presented by MCC Gallery, Marrakech based Gallery, shedding light on the artist’s profound connection to his roots and the intricate process of creating large-scale, impactful installations. Read also a unique written interview conducted by Olivia Peterson to explore Amine El Gotaibi’s world.

You speak of your grandmother’s kitchen as a core memory for realising your creativity; who, or what, were your creative influences when you were growing up and at the National Institute of Fine Arts, Tétouan? 

My earliest memories of creativity are in my grandmother’s kitchen, where the wood fire was burning and would cover the walls with black ash over time. This ash was like a canvas, and I would use my fingers to reveal the white wall behind, playing and experimenting as a child. This was my first experience of expression. It was also my grandmother who gifted me the freedom to express and, therefore, imagination to become an artist. It was this freedom that also allowed me to embody and exist as an artist and attend the National Institute of Fine Arts in Tétouan. My biggest influences at the Institute, and even prior, were in the land art movement, such as Christo and Robert Smithson.

 

Producing large projects is important to you; when did you first realise how important scale was to your artistic practice? What was your first large-scale project? 

Large scale has always been my focus. As a conceptual artist, being free to play with mediums opens up new dimensions in my practice and allows for a focus on impact and immersive experiences. My first opportunity to realise this type of scale was Ring of Submission between 2011-2014. Ring of Submission is brought to life through a refrigerated machine placed in a full-scale boxing ring. In it are frozen copies of my life-sized body, which are released at regular intervals. Rather than standing in an active position, this fighter is stuck to the ground, in a passive posture, in a state of submission. He has no visible opponent. He simply submits to the surrounding context. Within this project, there was a combination of skills, including a different specialist.

The other large-scale project was in 2016 called Territory National. This project explores the meaning of the phrase “etching one’s place in history” by combining performance, sculpture, photography, and video. To finalise this work, I travelled across the twelve regions of Morocco, according to the official breakdown, and I dug my name in gigantic letters in the earth for eight hours a day, scrupulously observing a wage earner’s daily working hours.

Some of my work is developed as projects. These projects can take many years and focus on key philosophies or themes that have inspired me. Both Ring of Submission and Territory National were projects like this, and so included many works within them.

You have previously created work with wool, earth, concrete, metal, and stone. These are all earthy, strong materials. How did you decide on the materials for Illuminate the Light? And can you elaborate on the process of how these large-scale pieces were made? 

I always start my projects with research, and when the idea is clear and ready, then I begin to look at the raw materials I can use to best realise and translate them into a physical form. It is a process of exploration into natural and man-made materials, often finding combinations of both that strike a balance or tension. As this process is part of my work, it can also lead me to many types of materials.   

Illuminate the Light followed this same process. We started with building a team of architects and engineers who could think about using light as a medium, exploring many materials and forms before landing on the structure that was realised. There was also the big challenge of making the work interactive and safe for the public and then, of course, transporting and building the work in very tight time frames. This took a hybrid team. Even the smallest parts of the structure had to be precise. These structures took mathematical precision to give the impression of simplicity and impact. The materials were chosen as they allowed me to materialise the experience of the work I was looking for – capturing the light and evoking the sense and atmosphere of Africa while also highlighting a contemporary viewpoint and challenging perception.

 

You briefly mention that the geometric sculptures are inspired by the seeds of a pomegranate, can you speak to the idea of the pomegranate seeds and why it became an important part of Illuminate the Light?  

Firstly, Illuminate the Light represents Africa as a light. Africa has its own light sources, and yet this light is taken by the rest of the world, and in exchange, darkness is reflected back. The perception of the continent is that it is a small and helpless place, however, there is not just light but great strength and vast diversity. Each country has diverse landscapes, resources, people and even language. This diversity is central to the light of Africa, and the seeds of a pomegranate perfectly capture this diversity: They are each unique in shape and form but sit in mathematical balance with each other. The pomegranate is a mystery to us, as it only reveals its seeds when you break its skin and get under the surface to unlock its abundance. There were so many important metaphors for me in this form that it became central to the work.

 

Your work is very much focused on the perception of Africa and explores these ideas very succinctly and with a magnetic aura that draws in the viewer. When did you first start to produce works centred on the perception of the continent? Do you see this continuing as a major theme in your work?

In 2011 I discovered the Okavango Delta. It is a river unlike any other in the world as it completes its journey in the desert, not into the sea. This Delta spans three African countries and fuels life along its path. This discovery was transformative for me, and I became fascinated by this natural occurrence. My fascination was with the rules of nature and how, in this situation, the rules were adapted to allow a body of water to exist in the desert. This was the first time I had felt a draw to visit the Delta, and it connected me with a desire to explore my continent in a way I had never felt before. This then inspired a much deeper immersion and the project called Visite to Okavango, which is ongoing and involves more exploration into the untold histories and natural orders of the African continent. This project to date has included works such as Sun (W)hole (2019) at The Nirox Foundation in South Africa, Ba Moyi Ya Afrika (The Suns of Africa) (2019) at the Young Congo Biennale, and now Illuminate the Light for 1-54 London at Somerset House.

 

You’re now based in Marrakech, how does the city impact your artistic practice? 

Marrakech, for me, was a place I instinctively felt both inspired in work and settled in life. The city has a rich history and has invited creativity since its foundation.

What is next? Can you tell us about any upcoming projects? 

 

My next big project is in Qatar in February to launch their design biennale. There will be a series of projects coming up to be announced. 

 

 

Revisit 1-54 London 2023

October 2023 saw 1-54 London return to Somerset House for the 11th consecutive year.

Revisit the 2023 London fair virtually below!

1-54 Continues to Support Morocco

1-54 x Hassan Hajjaj 

Hassan Hajjaj has partnered with 1-54 to produce a limited edition print to raise funds for those affected by the devastating earthquake in Morocco in September. The limited edition print of 40 is available to purchase for a minimum 900 GBP via [email protected], but we are following a give-what-you-want policy, should customers wish to donate more.

All proceeds from the print sale go to Assafou Association, a non-profit focused on education for children and women in rural communities in Morocco’s Atlas Mountains.  An edition of the photograph will also be on display at the National Portrait Gallery in November as part of the In Focus display at the Taylor Wessing Photo Portrait Prize 2023.

The print was debuted and available to purchase at the 2023 edition of 1-54 London.

 


 

About Assafou Association

Assafou Association for Development is a well-established and respected non-profit in the Marrakech/Safi region.  It was founded in 2011 by a group of volunteers passionate about rural development and highly invested in the preservation and the development of the Al-Haouz /Atlas mountain region.

Assafou Association’s mission is to raise awareness about life in the rural areas of Al-Haouz region and develop sustainable solutions to the most critical challenges that directly affect the life of the villagers in the Atlas Mountains.  The Association’s work focuses on three important areas: (a) Children Education; (b) Integration of Women; and (c) Rural Development.

Now Live: 1-54 London on Artsy

 

Browse and buy artworks from 1-54 London via Artsy, the world’s most trusted art marketplace. Explore the fair by gallery or artwork, and use Artsy’s AR tools to view artworks in your home. 1-54 London on Artsy features 62 international exhibitors from over 30 countries, the fair’s largest edition to date. Visit the fair on desktop, mobile or the Artsy app now until October 29.

 

About Artsy

Artsy is the largest global online marketplace for discovering, buying, and selling fine art by leading artists. Artsy connects 4,000+ galleries, auction houses, art fairs, and institutions from 100+ countries with more than 2 million global art collectors and art lovers from 190+ countries. Artsy makes purchasing art welcoming, transparent, and low-friction with industry-leading technology that connects supply and demand safely and securely at a global scale. 

1-54 Supports Morocco

1-54 x Hassan Hajjaj at 1-54 London 2023

Hassan Hajjaj is partnering with 1-54 to produce a limited edition print to raise funds for those affected by the devastating earthquake in Morocco last month. The limited edition print of 40 was available to purchase for a minimum 900 GBP from the Bookshop at the fair, but we followed a give-what-you-want policy, should customers wish to donate more. All proceeds from the print sale go to Assafou Association, a non-profit focused on education for children and women in rural communities in Morocco’s Atlas Mountains.  An edition of the photograph will be on display at the National Portrait Gallery in November as part of the In Focus display at the Taylor Wessing Photo Portrait Prize 2023.

You can also purchase an edition of the print via [email protected].

Merchandise at 1-54 London 2023

This year’s edition of 1-54 London will see a portion of our ticket sales and profits from all 1-54 merchandise donated to the Assafou Association. Visit our Bookshop situated in Upper Embankment during the fair to support!

1-54 x Hassan Hajjaj at Christie’s 

We’re collaborating with our long term partner Christie’s to include a work by Hassan Hajjaj in their 20 / 21st Century Day Sale on Saturday, October 14th, 2023. Learn More.


 

About Assafou Association

Assafou Association for Development is a well-established and respected non-profit in the Marrakech/Safi region.  It was founded in 2011 by a group of volunteers passionate about rural development and highly invested in the preservation and the development of the Al-Haouz /Atlas mountain region.

Assafou Association’s mission is to raise awareness about life in the rural areas of Al-Haouz region and develop sustainable solutions to the most critical challenges that directly affect the life of the villagers in the Atlas Mountains.  The Association’s work focuses on three important areas: (a) Children Education; (b) Integration of Women; and (c) Rural Development.

1-54 x Fedrigoni x Alfie Kungu

1-54 x Fedrigoni x Alfie Kungu

Fedrigoni Group is synonymous with excellence in the production of specialty papers for fine arts, high-end publishing, packaging, and self-adhesive materials, with the aim of elevating creativity.

With centuries of heritage, papers from Fedrigoni and Fabriano have been used by some of the most famous artists in history, from old masters like Michelangelo and Raffaello, to musical geniuses like Beethoven, modern icons like Georgia O’Keeffe and now contemporary artist Alfie Kungu.

Inspired by his Kenyan roots, Kungu drew upon nostalgic memories of carnival and celebrations, which are inherent within the diaspora. The pieces, like many of his recent works, were also an opportunity to connect with a wider community that he belongs to, but at times feels disconnected from.

Always adventurous and adaptable with his processes and materials, Kungu worked with inks and layered paint on Fabriano Artistico, made with 100% cotton, to create a sense of movement, fun, rhythm, and collective nature these evocative moments exude.

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Splash Park, Medium – Ink , Acrylic, Oil on Fedregoni Paper

What inspired the pieces you created for 1-54 x Fedrigoni?

These pieces are inspired by an opportunity to connect with a wider community that I belong to but at times felt disconnected from. Drawing upon nostalgic memories of carnival and celebration which is inherent within the diaspora, I wanted to communicate this within these paintings and share the sense of fun rhythm and collective nature.

What was it like working on Fedrigoni paper?

It’s been a great opportunity to work on such fine paper. I really appreciate the variety provided. It allowed me to work in quite free techniques — layering the paint and working with inks.

Balloons On Lilac Lane, Medium – Ink , Acrylic, Oil on Fedregoni Paper

Can you speak about the animals and figures depicted within your work? 

This series of work has been much less animal/cartoon character-based. Yet to some degree, it is still figurative. These characters are from a world of fondness and, to some degree, a reflection of positive memories from this world.

You’ve described your first trip to Kenya and how explorative you were at a young age. “I look back at it now, and I’d probably be much more apprehensive to do the things I was doing at that age, now,” you said. Do you think that trip — and the adventurous spirit it evoked — has impacted the way you approach your work?

In a sense it has, because I’m finding that this work I’m creating at the moment is a tool to connect with my dad’s side of the family who I don’t get to see very much. And when I’m creating my work, I always try to be adventurous and adaptable with my processes and materials.

Jump – Ink on Fedregoni Paper

The pieces will be exhibited in 1-54 Bookshop at the fair.