Lagos, Nigeria, November 2015
AfiRIperfoma Biennial will be held every two years in a different location in the African Continent. After the previews biennial in Harare, Zimbabwe 2012, the second edition shall take place between the 2nd of October and the 27th of November 2015, in Lagos, Nigeria. It will host local and international artists in the framework of several exhibitions, workshops, round tables and a program with live performances in the public urban space. This second edition will once again provide opportunities for national and international artists, and professional curators to meet, share experiences and continue to support networking and the promotion of critique and analysis of performance coming from both African and International settings.
Afiriperforma is the first biennial in the African continent dedicated specially to performance and live art. It is a discursive platform for expansion of these art forms and its practitioners in Africa. It aims to create a performance hub in the African continent that provides the conditions for both established and emerging, local and international artists to discuss and explore new discourses about fundamental issues around performance, memory and systems of knowledge.
It is indisputable that before the advent of colonialism in Africa, performance/live art was a popular art form in the continent. As a matter of fact, African art, which is known to have contributed immensely to our modern civilization and stands as one of the most different legacies on our earth; lays heavy emphasis on performance and performativity. Performance is an integral part of African visual culture. The numerous costumes and superior ancient African art sculptures, especially masks that are in reputable museums, galleries and art institutions all over the world, were created to use in performance milieus.
Today, performance practice in the continent is flourishing and deep in a contemporary visual culture, giving rise to a new awareness of performativity rooted and embodied by different African cultures. Many performance artists in the continent whose works refer to both contemporary and ancient African cultures, that have been presented in art institutions worldwide are giving an enormous contribution for thinking about local and global phenomena.
In light of the above, a biennial of African contemporary performance/live art becomes indispensable as a way of replenish the visual culture of performance in Africa continent. Focusing mainly in the continent's culture and its people, as observed by the artists through a contemporary visual outlook; it will aim at inspire the participants and the world at large in the appreciation of contemporary performance in Africa.