dakar-senegal

John Akomfrah, Peripeteia, 2012, HD video, color, sound, 18 minutes 12 seconds.

Dak’Art 2014

DAK'ART Biennial of Contemporary African Art

John Akomfrah, Peripeteia, 2012, HD video, color, sound, 18 minutes 12 seconds.

THE ELEVENTH EDITION of the Dak’Art Biennial of Contemporary African Art, which took place this past summer, may well have been the most ambitious since the exhibition’s inception in 1992. It was the largest and most diverse yet, not only showcasing emerging artists from across Africa but also including the work of many superstars from the established biennial circuit. This roster showed that the global art world must reckon with Dak’Art, which seems poised to take its place among the most established international art shows. Yet this year’s iteration also suggested that the biennial is still in its infancy, sadly plagued by growing pains two decades on. No clear curatorial strategy united the often outstanding individual contributions, which were, at times, undermined by the chaotic execution of the show itself.

Despite its avowedly Pan-African claims, Dak’Art began as a largely

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