Tiwani Contemporary is pleased to announce African Industrial Revolution, a project by e-studio Luanda. e-studio Luanda is an artist collective and studio complex founded in 2012 in the Angolan capital by Francisco Vidal, Rita GT, António Ole and Nelo Teixeira. The collective has played an instrumental role in fostering the visual arts scene in Luanda, producing regular exhibitions and running an art education programme. Vidal and Teixeira are part of the official selection for the Angolan Pavilion at the 56th Venice Biennale, commissioned by Rita GT. The gallery recently announced its representation of Vidal.
A.I.R will be the collective’s first exhibition in the UK, taking the form of an open studio within Tiwani Contemporary’s space, and an artist blog updated daily. The overall aim of the project is to release a work of art directly into a system that depends on digital and analog ideas around free reproduction and distribution, investigating how information is disseminated today.
Transforming the gallery space into a temporary artist studio, the project will be punctuated by daily sessions, during which the artists will activate the U.topia Machine and produce work in-situ. The U.topia Machine is a 60 x 60 cm plywood box containing an all-in-one toolkit for producing work. The machine was born out of e-studio’s own experience of international mobility (Rita GT and Francisco Vidal moved to Luanda in 2012 and recently returned to Lisbon), and the challenges this has brought about. How to continue making work with limited access to space, resources and materials? Beyond operational constraints, the question that surfaced and has since animated much of the collective’s artistic output was: how to translate artistic practices from one geographical context to another?
A.I.R forms part of e-studio Luanda’s ongoing exploration of the condition of the post-modern, peripatetic and itinerant artist. Effectively functioning as a mobile studio, the project envisions a system of art making and exhibiting that is no longer tied in with a sense of place, and highlights the status of the artist as an international worker. In a move to unite artistic forms with utilitarian intentions, A.I.R borrows from the legacy of Constructivist and Bauhaus artists, whose taste for social experiment and revolutionary politics through art and design have evidently inspired e-studio.
Imitating the internet’s ability freely to reproduce, distribute, borrow and share ideas, the artists are creating work that sits within the emerging concept of what has come to be defined as post-internet art. Whilst much of the dialogue around the genre has so far taken place in Europe and North America, e-studio’s residency at Tiwani Contemporary will create the opportunity to widen the geographical perspective to this discourse.
Private View: Thursday 9 July 2015, 18:30 – 20:30
About Rita GT
Rita GT was born in Porto in 1980. She lives and works in Luanda, Angola. Rita GT gained a BA in Communication Design (2004) from the Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Porto and an MA in Fine Arts from Malmö Art Academy – Lund University in Malmö, Sweden. Solo exhibitions include: Instituto Camões, Luanda (2014); UNAP, Luanda (2012); Bienal de Viana do Castelo (2010); Empty Cube, Lisbon (2009); Gallery Reflexus, Porto (2009); and PêSSEGOpráSEMANA, Porto (2007). Group exhibitions include: SOSO Contemporary African Art Gallery, Luanda (2012); Museum of the City, Lisbon (2011); CCB – Museu Berardo, Lisbon (2009); Arte Contempo, Lisbon (2007); Natural History Museum, Lisbon (2007); and the Rothschild Prize (2007), Lisbon. Rita GT is the commissioner for this year’s Angolan Pavilion at the Venice Biennale.
About Francisco Vidal
Francisco Vidal was born in Lisbon in 1978. He is Portuguese, Angolan and Cape Verdean. Vidal lives and works in Luanda, Angola, and holds an MFA from Columbia University School of the Arts in New York. In 2005, he was selected for the EDP Young Artists Award. Recent solo exhibitions include: Instituto Camões, Luanda (2014); UNAP, Luanda (2012); and Galeria 111, Lisbon and Porto (2007). Group exhibitions include: the 56th Venice Biennale (Angolan Pavilion); SOSO Contemporary African Art Gallery, Luanda (2012); Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon (2011); Fisher Landau Center for the Art, Long Island (2011); EDP Foundation, Lisbon (2010); Lux, Lisbon (2010); and Instituto Camões in Cape Verde, Angola and Mozambique (2007). His work is represented in public collections including the EDP Foundation, PLMJ Foundation and Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, as well as private collections.
His first solo exhibition in the UK will take place at Tiwani Contemporary in November 2015.
About Nelo Teixeira
Nelo Teixeira was born in Luanda in 1975. He lives and works in Luanda, Angola. Teixeira studied painting and sculpture at the workshops of UNAP (National Union of Plastic Artists) and has a background in carpentry and set design. Recent exhibitions include: the 56th Venice Biennale (Angolan Pavilion); Studio Costa Lopes in Luanda, Lisbon and Elinga Theatre; SOSO Contemporary African Art Gallery, Luanda (2007); UNAP, Luanda (2009); Celamar Gallery, Luanda (2000); and the Contemporary Angolan Auction at Bonhams in London (2014). Alongside his career as an artist, Nelo also currently works as a stage designer for a number of theatres.