EXHIB Sindika Dokolo Vista de instalación

‘You Love Me You Love Me Not’: The Sindika Dokolo Foundation exhibition in Portugal

The significant collection of Sindika dokolo, a Congolese art collector and businessman who started the Fundación of the same name, has more than five thousand works of art, including paintings, prints, photographs, videos and installations by 90 artists from 25 countries. The contemporary art exhibition ‘You Love Me, You Love Me Not,’ curated from the Sindika Dokolo collection, is on display from 5 March – 10 May 2015 at the Municipal Gallery Almeida Garrett in Oporto (Portugal).

EXHIB Sindika Dokolo Vista de instalación
ABOVE: ‘You Love Me, You Love Me Not’ exhibition. Installation view. Image courtesy of the Sindika Dokolo Foundation.

Comprising over 3 000 works by artists from 25 different nationalities, the process of constructing an exhibition around the Sindika Dokolo collection was carried out as a collage – an attempt to find common ground whilst raising awareness of divisions. This exhibition is formed from the Foundation’s collection, itself a collage of tastes and representations of renowned and other lesser-known artists.

The title, ‘You Love Me, You Love Me Not,’ is drawn from a work by Wangechi Mutu, a Kenyan artist well-known for her intricate collages in which she explores mundane and political themes in a manner that is simultaneously subtle and complex. a subtle and simultaneously complex manner. The exhibition aims to reflect upon the act of collecting as an attempt to articulate a story, as well as the curatorial gesture as an intervention within that space, populated by several accumulated and negotiated narratives. As such, this curatorial opportunity constitutes a pathway through contemporary art with a particular focus on art from Africa.

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EXHIB Sindika Dokolo Installation View1

TOP TO BOTTOM: Sindika Dokolo in front of works by Samuel Fosso; ‘You Love Me, You Love Me Not’ exhibition, installation view. Images courtesy of the Sindika Dokolo Foundation.

The exhibition features renowned artworks such as the unique snapshots of Seydou Keita, who captured a special moment in the history of Mali, and the self-portraits of Samuel Fosso, as well as lesser-known names such as Marcia Kure, Yonamine, Edson Chagas and Cameron Platter who are establishing themselves by questioning preconceptions.

‘You Love Me, You Love Me Not’ highlights the trajectory of African artistic production with a strong emphasis on recent history, reflecting upon affections rather than limiting itself to socio-political matters. The Sindika Dokolo collection also includes work by non-African artists such as Kara Walker and Nick Cave.

The exhibition is organised around several organic cores and permeable approaches, bringing together groups of artists on subjects such as identity and representation. It is concerned with historical perspective and political participation, either through criticism or recognition of the socio-political action. Other subjects of concern are memory and history, reaching for the imaginary as a tool to create a space for the negotiation of reality through languages and bringing the observer closer to fantasy. These central issues are not self-contained; instead they allow for several artists or works to offer different perspectives or possibilities of interpretation within different programmatic frameworks.

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LEFT TO RIGHT: Nick Cave, Soundsuit (2012); Kendell Geers, Twilight of the Idols (Fetish) 2 (2002). Images courtesy of the Sindika Dokolo Foundation.

This exhibition, curated by Suzana Sousa and Bruno Leitão, is a collaboration between the Sindika Dokolo Foundation and the municipality of O’Porto, and will be on display from 5 March – 10 May 2015 at the Municipal Gallery Almeida Garret in O’Porto, Portugal.