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After a painful last-minute cancellation last November, due to re-containment, the Akaa fair (for « Also Known As Africa »), devoted to the art of the African continent and its diaspora, returns to the Carreau du Temple, in Paris, with a reduced-wing edition, but an unfailing determination. If the 2021 version suffers a little from the comparison with that of 2019, bubbling with some twenty galleries from the African continent, it remains nonetheless neat and offers a great opportunity for discoveries and meetings, between young talents and artists. confirmed.
“This is an important edition and one of which we are proud, after two difficult years. There are certainly fewer stands, for questions of logistics and access to visas or vaccination, it was rock’n’roll, but our very small team was fiercely efficient “, sums up with a big smile Victoria Mann, the founder and director of the fair, of which it is the 6e editing.
In the area of changes, and for a question of budget, the fair does not invest this year the basement of the Carreau du Temple, which offered spaces dedicated to publishing, cinema and music, in particular. On the other hand, it offers, rather than a simple catalog, a beautiful book of circumstance, with a selection of artists and texts around the theme of time, entitled “Back in time”, under the leadership of the artistic director of the fair, Armelle Dakouo. “Far from being just a fad, the contemporary African art market is structuring and strengthening internationally, artists are taking their place in collections and major institutions, and it is also important to leave a written record of this art history which is currently being written ”, emphasizes Victoria Mann.
Among the thirty-four galleries present (plus six online, not having been able to make the trip), essential merchants, such as Parisians Magnin-A and Anne de Villepoix or the Brussels resident Didier Claes, are present.
Synergy with Paris Photo
Among the six African galleries that made the trip, Rhizome, a very young Algiers gallery with a committed line, which also serves as a place of residence and training, presents two artists from the Algerian scene, including the painter Bardi, 26 years old. , with paintings in pop colors and compositions evoking Francis Bacon which comment on the country’s current events. Or the dynamic BKhz Gallery, in Johannesburg (South Africa), which takes part in its first international fair, and notably presents the rising painter Wonder Buhle, who signs the poster for the edition. Photography is also very present everywhere, and a sign of synergy between the two fairs, five of AKAA’s galleries are also present at Paris Photo.
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Arts: the Akaa fair back in time