ZOHRA OPOKU’S SOLO SHOW: SASSA AT GALLERY 1957

Zohra Opoku‘s solo show Sassa, curated by Nana Oforiatta Ayim/ANO shows at Gallery 1957 today June 9th 2016 at 4.30pm. The exhibition’s opening and performance which will leave you awestruck takes place in the confines of the gallery this afternoon and it is open to all and sundry.

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Sassa continues till 10th August, 2016. It explores the role of textile culture in the materialization of concepts beyond the individual’s corporeal reality. Based in Accra, and of German and Ghanaian descent, Opoku’s versatile work expands across installation, performance and lens-based media. Her indepth examination of textile culture considers fashion’s political, psychological and socio-cultural roles in relation to both African history and individualistic or societal identities.

In Sassa, the artist draws on her month long stay in the Ashanti region of Ghana – as part of a recent residency with the cultural research platform ANO – as well as her past portrait series, in order to explore cultural philosophies, trajectories, and aesthetics across the country. As Nana Oforiatta Ayim, founder of ANO and Creative Director of Gallery 1957, explains: “through the exploration of the Ashanti concept of sassa – described by art historian Ladislas Segy as ‘the soul that can also lie outside of the body and that flows through all things’ – Opoku’s work is in constant interplay with this notion of the unseen and the immanent.”

One of the works include an Ashante queen mother’s cyanotype prints which were printed in Zohra’s garden under the sun on bed sheets which were given by her grandmother. The content involves sun-prints, video, collages, mixed media and collected sounds with a DJ Stelo collaboration in the creative mix.

A month ago, Zohra indicated on her Instagram that she was working on four images of Akan queen mothers she had visited in the Ashante region and these works had been sun-printed for her upcoming show.

Accra[dot]alt crew will be speaking at the event at Gallery 1957 in Accra ‪about the upcoming Chale Wote festival‬ and the concept of engineering new imaginations through collapsed myths and histories. Essentially gearing us up for the Spirit Robot vibe of the festival this August in Jamestown. Join the family at 4:30pm.

We look to the future to more collaborations inspired by Zohra with DJ Stelo, Theresa Ameka and Nana Osei. It is intriguing and inspiring to see artists build on the contemporary process with crunchy African cultural information driven by human connections in the process of making their works- from the production to the realization stage, even through the mounting and checking of lighting, discussions of projects and so on.

Zohra with her always calm focused self tells us “I’m always enjoying the different layers of Accra’s creative scene and preserving those good energies for times when I will be away from Ghana.”

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Author: Kwame 'Write' Aidoo

Kwame Aidoo, also known as Write is a fond reader, writer and lover of music and the arts, with a degree in Biochemistry from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Tech., Kumasi and a certificate in Cultural Organizations in Transition from University of Lüneburg. He founded the creative activism movement: Inkfluent which curates Slam Ghana, The Write Experience, Vocal Portraits poetry albums, Slam Lab and the biggest literary festival in Ghana; Nkabom Literary Festival. Aside Ghana, where he is based, he has shown work in Brazil, Togo, Austria, France, Benin, Germany and Burkina Faso and most recently Norway with Aurora Ekvatorialis; a light sculpture and texts collaboration with Norwegian artist Toril Johannessen, exhibiting at the National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design, Oslo, 16.9.2016 – 15.1.2017.

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