Press Release

Across the board: Public Space/ Public Sphere Tate in Salon Urbain de Douala, SUD 2013, as part of the Across the board project, sponsored by Guaranty Trust Bank Plc

Tate will play a key part in Doual’art’s Salon Urbain de Douala, SUD 2013 (3-10 December) in Douala, Cameroon, presenting projects on 6, 8 and 9 December 2013. This is the third edition of this celebrated African triennial. Entitled Douala Metamorphosis, it celebrates art in public spaces and creativity in African cities as a result of the social relationships established in them. Tate’s participation marks the third part of the gallery’s four-part project entitled Across the board, sponsored by Guaranty Trust Bank Plc.

Marilyn Douala-Bell and Didier Schaub founded the cultural association, Doual’art in 1991. They had no venue but, with their strong commitment to cultural development and their vision of art as catalyst for social change, and following a number of successful projects such as Ateliers Urbain, the Bessengue City Project and a series of conferences, L’Espace Doual’art opened in 1994. It became an arts centre promoting dialogue between artists, local authorities and residents in the city. The Salon Urbain de Douala, SUD was founded by Doual’art in 2007. Douala Metamorphosis features a series of artistic interventions in four neighbourhoods: Bonanjo, Bonamouti-Deido, Bessengue-Akwa and Ndogpassi.

The newly opened Théâtre-Source de Ndogpassi, a public art project by Belgian artist Philip Aguirre, commissioned by Doual’art for SUD 2010, will provide the stage for some of Tate’s Across the board: Public Space / Public Sphere projects. These will include South African artist collective, The Trinity Session, formed by Marcus Neustetter and Stephen Hobbs, who in collaboration with local entrepreneur Thomas Ebele Ndoka will create a performance which will involve local residents. The project takes places in the public space of Bessengue-Akwa and features stories of individuals who have grown up and lived in the neighbourhood. Their personal experiences reveal remarkable stories of endurance. Fashion and hairstyles are used in the performance as evidence of their individual transformation as well as being a metaphor for the transformation of the neighbourhood.

South African artists Mocke J. van Veuren and Nelisiwe Xaba will present their 3D video Angels and Uncles 2013, which was commended in the last edition of the Johannesburg Art Fair. Xaba will also present her acclaimed solo performance Plasticization. Faustin Linyenkula, choreographer and founder of Studios Kabako in Kisangani, Democratic Republic of Congo, presents his solo performance, Le Cargo.

Across the board was launched in November 2012 at Tate Modern with a day of performances by artists Otobong Nkanga and Nástio Mosquito in The Tanks. The project consists of a series of events exploring recent artistic practices in Africa. Raising questions on the politics of representation, institution building, public space/public sphere, and interdisciplinary ;practices, it is contributing to local expertise and networks. So far it has taken place at Tate Modern,London andAccra in Ghana.Douala in Cameroon is the third part of the project which will conclude in Lagos in Nigeria in April.

Across the board is curated by Elvira Dyangani Ose, Curator International Art, supported by Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, Tate Modern, with Loren Hansi Momodu, Assistant Curator, Tate Modern. Across the board: Public Space / Public Sphere is sponsored by Guaranty Trust Bank Plc. Organised by Tate Modern in collaboration with Doual’art.