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AKKA Project unveils its intersectional artistic vision at Art Dubai 2024
Turiya Magadlela, Untitled III, 2023, Nylon pantyhose and acrylic on canvas
Image: Courtesy of AKKA Project

AKKA Project unveils its intersectional artistic vision at Art Dubai 2024

AKKA Project showcases Turiya Magadlela's fabric-based artworks alongside Alexandre Kyungu's exploration of urban cartography at Art Dubai 2024. 

by AKKA Project
Published on : Mar 01, 2024

During the 17th edition of Art DubaiAKKA Project presents works by artists Turiya Magadlela and Alexandre Kyungu.  

Turiya Magadlela was born in 1978 in Johannesburg, South Africa. Working primarily with common yet loaded fabrics, from pantyhose to correctional service uniforms, Magadlela creates abstract compositions by cutting, stitching, folding and stretching these materials across wooden frames. Her subject matter moves between articulations of personal experiences of women, motherhood and narratives from Black South African history. By elevating what was once seen as a simple craft to the realm of fine art, she aims to give voice to the often-overlooked labour of women in her origin region. Her works speak to broader themes of gender, trade, and the history of colonisation and exploitation in the African continent. She uses aesthetics as a tool for storytelling to underscore the importance of art in shedding light on African history and contemporary life. “I want to continue to push boundaries and create innovative works that engage with pressing social and political issues," Magadlela shares.

Magadlela studied at the Funda Community College (1998) and the University of Johannesburg (1999 - 2001) in South Africa. She has had six solo exhibitions to date, at the Johannesburg Art Gallery, Museum Africa and at blank projects. Magadlela has participated in several group exhibitions, both locally and internationally including Blue Black, curated by Glenn Ligon (Pulitzer Arts Foundation, 2017), Simple Passion, Complex Vision: The Darryl Atwell Collection (Gantt Centre, 2017), The Past is Present (Jack Shainman Gallery, 2017), Les jour qui vient’ curated by Marie-Ann Yemsi (Galerie des Galeries, 2017), Blackness in Abstraction (Pace Gallery, 2016) and The Quiet Violence of Dreams (Stevenson, 2016). In 2015, she was awarded the prestigious FNB Art Prize.

Alexandre Kyungu is a visual artist born in 1992 in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, where he currently lives and works. He studied art at the Academy of Fine Arts in Kinshasa and, after participating in several group exhibitions and residency workshops in his country and abroad, he is now the co-founder of Vision Total Group, working in collaboration with Kin Art Studio (KAS). “My work explores the imaginary between urban cartography and the sacrification of the body. I attempt to question the cartographic policy of Africa and the rest of the world in contemporary society,” the artist shares. 

Kyungu explores the fascinating intersection of urban cartography and body scarification in his work. He draws inspiration from the Lingala term 'Nzoloko', which signifies scarification, a practice deeply rooted in African identity and used to mark ethnicity and origin. Kyungu's art intentionally combines scarification and mapping to address issues of accessibility, mobility, and the human experience in urban spaces. His artistic practice spans painting, drawing, sculptural art, and installation, with rubber as a prominent medium. Kyungu uses rubber to connect cartography and scarification, exploring themes of migration, identity, borders, and symbols. In essence, Kyungu's art serves as a 'cartographic essay', merging maps from different cities with scarifications to challenge traditional notions of boundaries and create a unique imaginary space in his works. His art invites viewers to contemplate the complex relationship between humanity and the spaces we inhabit. Recently, Alexandre took part in the Africa 1:1 residency and exhibition project, resulting from the fruitful collaboration between the AKKA Project, Africa First, and the Ca’ Pesaro International Gallery of Modern Art in Venice.

Art Dubai 2024 will take place at the vibrant Madinat Jumeira in DubaiUAE, from March 1 - 3, 2024.

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