Body Talk: Feminism, Sexuality, and the Body in the Work of Six African Women Artists
The exhibition Body Talk (2015–2016) addressed issues of feminism, sexuality and the body, as they play themselves out in the work of a generation of women artists from Africa active since the late 1990s.
Bringing together artists from different parts of the continent—Zoulikha Bouabdellah, Marcia Kure, Miriam Syowia Kyambi, Valérie Oka, Tracey Rose, and Billie Zangewa—Body Talk strives to define and articulate notions of feminism and sexuality in the work of women artists whose body (their own or that of others) serves as a tool, a representation or a field of investigation. In their work, the body manifests itself, whether sequentially or simultaneously, as a model, support, subject or object.
The critical resonance of a specifically African—and Black—feminism, together with the spread of artistic practices to international networks, have given shape to the development of a black feminist art. Stemming from the continent and the Diaspora, this black feminist art depicts bodies that continue a tradition of activism and freedom of speech, which it expresses with references to historical and political figures, and through the recreation of modern personas, of past and present bodies, all of which the artists appropriate.
The exhibition was curated by Koyo Kouoh, assisted by Eva Barois De Caevel (RAW Material Company, Dakar). This accompanying publication features essays by Sarah Adams, Eva Barois De Caevel, Ken Bugul, Frieda Ekotto, D.E. Fault, Alya Sebti, and Koyo Kouoh. Edited by Koyo Kouoh. Designed by Rasmus Koch.
Published by RAW Material Company, WIELS, Lunds konsthall, 49 Nord 6 Est – FRAC Lorraine, and Motto Books, 2015, paperback, 192 pages, 9.5 x 6.7 inches.