Anthology Film Archives


November 6 – November 13

AFROGLOSSIA riffs on the term polyglossia, defined as the coexistence of multiple languages in one area. The “afro” prefix references the incredible complexity, heterogeneity and multiplicity that is Africa. The AFROGLOSSIA program for Performa 17 highlights a range of artistic voices and coalesces diverse perspectives from various regions of the African continent into a single program platform, allowing viewers to experience distinct approaches to experimental interdisciplinary art and ideas being put forth by artists from Kenya, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Morocco, and South Africa. Questions about what is radical, how the conditions of everyday life inform artistic choices, and what constitutes experimentation in cross-boundary performance all emerge as important animating forces in the program’s commissions and projects. Each AFROGLOSSIA commission represents points of convergence where each artist engages a specific set of social, historical, political, and economic scenarios and experiences in their own distinct forms. Intermingling fiction, poetry, essays, film, performance, painting, music, video, and photography, the program provides a means through which we can contemplate the intersection of radical art and radical politics as articulated by artists from Africa and its diaspora.

Co-presented with Anthology Film Archives, AFROGLOSSIA’s commissions are contextualized by a special four-day film program comprising moving image works that influenced the commissions or overall practice of the participating artists, who include Yto Barrada, Wangechi Mutu, Teju Cole, Julie Mehretu, Jason Moran, Tracey Rose, and The Nest Collective.

Organized by Adrienne Edwards with Lydia Brawner.

Performa is the leading organization dedicated to exploring the critical role of live performance in the history of 20th century art and to encouraging new directions in performance for the 21st century. Performa 17, the seventh edition of the Performa Biennial, takes place November 1-19, 2017, at locations throughout New York City.

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