ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA — Outside the walls of the Zoma Contemporary Art Center, the distinct chaotic clatter of Addis Ababa — goats bleating at a nearby market, cars kicking up dust on the dirt road — fills the air. Yet inside the compound that houses the center is a haven of calm. Birds chirp in the trees that surround the courtyard, which is paved in flagstones decorated with images of turtles and lizards. Read more
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WARSAW, Poland — As with so many really good and really bad ideas, this one was conceived over a few beers.
Marta Kolakowska was sitting one evening in the upstairs office of her Warsaw art gallery, Leto, with two of her artists, Radek Szlaga and Honza Zamojski, talking half-seriously about applying to the Frieze Art Fair’s inaugural New York show in May 2012. Read more
Growing up in 1970s Belfast, artist Paul Seawright saw his fair share of violence. But nothing prepared him for the trip he took to Afghanistan in 2002. Seawright, a photographer whose early work focused around The Troubles in Northern Ireland, was commissioned by London’s Imperial War Museum (IWM) to go to the war torn nation and capture life post-Taliban. After taking a week long war training course, Seawright travelled around Afghanistan with the landmine organization Halo Trust and his images, from the series he called “Hidden”, are stark and powerful. “Horizon 2002” at first glance appears blurry and cracked like a lunar landscape. But looking beyond the foreground, there are ominous round black objects littered everywhere. They are, of course, mines scattered across the desolate landscape. “I wanted to look at the impact of conflict, how the nature of conflict has changed,” says Seawright, currently a professor of photography at the University of Ulster in Belfast. “It was a very strange war because there was no bin Laden, no Taliban—it was all invisible and hidden.” Seawright argues that his work was different from the photojournalism coming out of the region at that time. “A photograph on the cover of a newspaper ends up in the recycling bin whereas art has to bear repeated scrutiny, it has to have enough complexity and layers to invite the viewer to come back and look again.” Read more