“Each generation must discover its mission, fulfil it or betray it, in relative opacity.” Frantz Omar Fanon
Today, in what are still the beginnings of the digital era in which we find ourselves, it is relevant to ask what purpose art galleries have in contemporary society. Everywhere one looks, and Africa is no different, the role of art galleries has undergone drastic change. The challenges are new, and the cultural and thought centres undergoing a process of transformation.
Starting from the principle that the traditional boundaries delimiting the functions of art have changed, the gallery space alters from being a mere white-walled box to the very extension of the desire and spirit of the artist, juxtaposed with the pulse and dynamism of the society in which they live. And in what way might Africans invent the future? We dare to suggest that the path begins with identifying and encouraging those whose major source of inspiration is the capital cities of Africa, such as Luanda. The artists assembled here share this inventive verve, showing that from the city and its physical and emotional realms comes the raw material that allows them to lift up and place the many different Angolas, which with their unique identities and sensibilities sustain this space, at the centre of global culture.
Délio Jasse, Francisco Vidal, Iris Chocolate, Kiluanji Kia Henda, Nástio Mosquito, Tiago Borges and Yonamine are a few of the Angolan, native and foreign artists here who are inventing a future that has already begun. What they create are a kind of magnifying glass, a tool that allows us to look a little more closely, a little more deeply at who we really are. They, better than anyone, know that any artistic manifestation, to make sense in Angola, needs the transcendental impact of a slap in the face or an unexpected kiss.
It is now up to each of us to choose the remedy that most fits, since the starting point of the dialogue initiated here is the city of Luanda and the intention to reach as far as the imagination allows.
Welcome to JAHMEK contemporary art.