OPA-LOCKA – Ten North Group is pleased to announce Art of Transformation: AFRICA GLOBAL, the 2023 conceptual framework exhibiting the diversity of African Diasporic communities and their varied experiences, taking place during Art Basel Miami Beach 2023 and Miami Art Week 2023. This annual program is designed to explore issues in African and African Diaspora contemporary art and brings artists of African descent from around the world to Miami in a series of exhibitions, panel discussions, performances and film screenings.
Ten North Group presents AFRICA GLOBAL in Opa-locka from December 3 through December 10, 2023. The arts festival in the architecturally distinct city of Opa-locka will offer six exhibitions. This includes works from Puerto Rican artists, a sculpture pavilion, and a book installation resisting the erasure of Black literature. Plus, works from Ten North Group’s extensive collection of art from Africa, the Caribbean, and the Diaspora.
Programming events include:
- Afro-Cuban dance performance by the Ife-Ile Dance Company (Dec. 3)
- “Landscape Noir,” a conversation on how the arts can be used as a catalyst to transform previously forgotten communities (Dec. 4)
- “Performance & Voguing Workshop” with Afro-Caribbean artist Edrimael Delgado Reyes (Dec. 8)
The headline event featuring a panel discussion led by curator Tumelo Mosaka, followed by a film screening by artist Marrero Sanchez on grief, identity, colonialism and gender (Dec. 9).
“We are thrilled to announce our participation in this year’s Art Basel Miami Beach,” says Dr. Willie Logan, the President and CEO of Ten North Group. “Art of Transformation strengthens our commitment to catalyze meaningful dialogue within our community and globally while establishing our City as a world-class destination to experience art of the African Diaspora. Our goal is to inspire, empower, and educate South Florida’s diverse communities and to expose our visitors to the exceptional artistic talent that exists in Africa and the African Diaspora.”
Fragmented Worlds / Coherent Lives (on view Dec. 6 – Feb. 28)
Curator: Tumelo Mosaka (South Africa)
Location: The Art & Recreation Center (ARC), 675 Ali Baba Ave, Opa-locka, FL 33054
Fragmented Worlds / Coherent Lives is an exhibition drawing on concepts informed by fragmentation, mobility, and adaptation. Borrowing its title from Pnina Motzafi-Haller’s book by the same name, artists in this exhibition present multiple narratives drawing on memory, history, and lived experience to express ways identities become fragmented and sometimes contradictory.
Working between concrete and subconscious ideas, artists weave coherent narratives that challenge representations of Africa today.
Cartographies of Displacement / Cartografías del Desplazamiento (on view Dec. 6 – 10)
Curators: Helen Ceballos & Abdiel D. Segarra Ríos (Puerto Rico)
Location: The Pavilion, 650 Ali Baba Ave., Opa-locka, FL 33054
Cartographies of Displacement brings together the work of Puerto Rican artists who, through their respective practices, reflect on what is produced in the junctures that displacement provokes. The exhibition comments on the experiences that accumulate in the everyday—the ways in which we live and negotiate with the forces that displace us, the changes that undergo the landscape—politically and infrastructurally inside and outside the city— and the ways in which we conceive geography within the archipelago and in the diaspora, physically and temporally.
Alongside these observations on the setting, the curatorial work reflects on the production of subjectivities and the questioning of hegemonic identities —individual and collective—and on how this has repercussions on the articulation of historical narratives and the right to remember.
Garden of Humanity (on view Dec 6 – June 30)
Curator: James Brazil (Australia)
Location: The VFW Lot, 757 Ali Baba Ave., Opa-locka, FL 33054
The sculpture pavilion presents two new large-scale sculptural acquisitions by the Ten North Group in a lushly designed garden:
Ten North Group is pleased to unveil the newest work by contemporary artist Juan Roberto Diago Durruthy “Diago” (Cuba), a six-foot bronze sculpture titled Yemaya, after the goddess of the living ocean, the mother of all. Yemaya will be exhibited in dialogue with the spirits that accompanied African peoples during the crossing of the Atlantic Ocean known as the Middle Passage.
2. The Cedar Men
Sculptor and performer Jems Robert Koko Bi (Côte d’Ivoire), whose work mixes avant-gardist influences and the artist’s African history, has created five six-foot-tall works which are sculpted from a single cedar trunk weighing half a ton each. The Cedar Men tells the history of humanity through the earth’s first inhabitants in Africa as the works initiate a conversation with the forces of nature, the ancestors, the native land, and the exile.
New Acquisitions: The Ségou Collection (I’ve Known Rivers) (on view Dec. 6 – 10)
Curator: Professor Abdoulaye Konaté (Mali)
Location: The Hurt Building, 490 Opa-locka Blvd., Opa-locka, FL 33054
The exhibition is a cartography of how continental African artists create in-situ modes of intervention in response to issues that beset their continent by providing counter-narratives of radical autonomy beyond the rehashed tacit necessity of the place of art in society. I’ve Known Rivers is an homage to the poem ”The Negro Speaks of Rivers” by Langston Hughes, first published in The Crisis in June 1921, but most importantly, for the 57th anniversary of his reading it at the First World Festival of Black Arts in Dakar, Senegal, in 1966.
The Ségou Art collection that Ten North Group acquired in 2022 comprises works by African artist finalists for the Ségou Art Fair selection on the banks of the mythical African Niger River. The Niger River echoes the Mississippi in a call and answer resonating across the Atlantic Ocean.
Required Reading: Art in Public Places (on view Dec. 6 – 10)
Location: The Airspace Around The Art & Recreation Center (ARC), 675 Ali Baba Ave, Opa-locka,
As knowledge produced by African and African Diaspora intellectuals and artists is being debated, legislated, and litigated, Required Reading calls for a return to memory land where what “they” ban becomes required. This Art in Public Places exhibition appropriates a plurality of works by African and African Diaspora writers and artists as a reflection of polyvocality and decentering of knowledge in a time of a legislative construction of ignorance and new cartographies of power and exclusion.