"Captain Rugged 8," Kelechi Amadi-Obi, 2013, digital print, 76 cm X 81 cm

WAM to presents ‘Urban Cadence,’ photography of urban life in Lagos and Johannesburg

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MINNEAPOLIS— The Weisman Art Museum (WAM) is presenting the exhibit “Urban Cadence” this fall. The Exhibition will be on view from Oct. 6 – Dec. 31, 2023.

The opening event for this exhibition on Thurs., Oct. 5 includes an early look at the show, plus a special live performance by the Black Atlantics, led by Afrofusion musician Obi Original, as well as Nigerian fare by WaZoBia and a cash bar. Student tickets to the opening party are free.

“Urban Cadence” tells the multifaceted stories of two urban environments—Lagos, Nigeria and Johannesburg, South Africa—as experienced through the artistic expressions of over sixty photographs and videos by nine award-winning and internationally recognized contemporary African artists. African cities are the fastest growing in the world, and these two cities have experienced this growth in diverse yet fascinating ways: the first as a megacity, the latter as a center of industrial development. The street scenes in this exhibition represent the complex narratives of these urban sites: tales of migration, labor, desperation, success, hope, and imagination among others.

Sabelo Mlangeni, “Woman and city,” 2012, Digital Print

Here, these stories are woven together with the theme of cadence, which speaks to the rhythms of life. Cadence is the gait of the artist or inhabitants of the city as they move through urban spaces. Cadence is a visual rhythm an artist creates when telling the city’s myriad stories. At the same time, it is a musical metaphor that artists draw on to speak about their images or their photographic practice. Whether sobering, humorous, or unexpected, the visuals of Urban Cadence challenge us to explore what it means to be urban in Africa in the early 21st century.

Featured artists include Akinbode Akinbiyi, Akintunde Akinleye, Kelechi Amadi-Obi, Jude Anogwih, Jodi Bieber, Donna Kukama, Sabelo Mlangeni, Uche Okpa-Iroha, and Jo Ractliffe.

Akintunde Akinleye, “Each Passing Day,” 2006, Digital Print

Urban Cadence is organized for tour by The Gund at Kenyon College. The Gund exhibitions and programs are sponsored, in part, by The Gund Board of Directors and the Ohio Arts Council.

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