The Republic of Benin will stage a nationwide pavilion for the primary time on the Sixtieth Venice Biennale, to happen April 20–November 24, 2024. The West African nation’s authorities revealed that the pavilion shall be curated by Azu Nwagbogu, founder and director of the Lagos-based nonprofit African Artists’ Basis (AAF), with the help of Yassine Lassissi, inventive director of Lagos’s La Galerie Nationale du Bénin, and architect Franck Houndégla. Playwright José Pliya, the overall director of La Galerie Nationale, will fee the pavilion.
“We’re delighted to have Azu Nwagbogu because the curator of the Benin Nationwide Pavilion,” stated Patrice Talon, president of the Republic of Benin, in a press release. Talon headed the pavilion’s joint choice committee, which comprised the nation’s minister of tourism, tradition, and humanities, in addition to members of the Nationwide Gallery of Benin. “His distinctive background, imaginative and prescient and experience within the area of artwork curation makes him the right candidate to showcase Benin’s cultural heritage and up to date artwork to the world.”
The Lagos-born Nwagbogu established the AAF in 2007 with the purpose of elevating up to date artists and humanities. From 2018 to 2019, he served as director of the Zeitz Museum of Modern Artwork Africa in Cape City. Nwagbogu is called a tireless advocate for restitution and repatriation; his targets on this entrance intently align with these of Talon, who since his 2016 election has prioritized repatriation. The nation’s authorities in 2021 reached an accord with France for latter nation to return twenty-six objects looted by its military over 100 years in the past.
Benin is the newest African nation to mount a pavilion on the Biennale. Although the continent was vastly underrepresented in earlier iterations of the occasion, the variety of African pavilions has elevated from seven in 2017 to 12 this 12 months, with the addition of Benin.