Arctic Book Club: Artists Respond to An African in Greenland

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Images Courtesy of The EFA Project Space and The Flux Factory

Arctic Book Club: Artists Respond to An African in Greenland

Artists: Amber Cortes, Jenelle Covino, The Green & Bold Coöperative, Katerina Lanfranco, Fabienne Lasserre, Valerie Piraino, Greg Pond, Annie Reichert, Julian Rogers, Ranbir Sidhu, & Christopher Ulivo


September 18 – October 24, 2009


EFA Project Space

323 West 39th Street, 2nd Floor

New York, NY 10018

btw 8th and 9th Ave.


Abbreviated Press Release:

For complete text visit http://www.efanyc.org/arctic-book-club/

Flux Factory and EFA Project Space are proud to present Arctic Book Club, on view from September 18 through October 24, at EFA Project Space in Manhattan.  Curated by Jean Barberis and Michelle Levy, this exhibition is the result of a several-month long process embarked on by a group of artists responding to the book, An African in Greenland.

Tété-Michel Kpomassie’s book, An African in Greenland, serves as memoir, ethnography, and travelogue, and is the account of the author’s unique journey from his native Togo to Greenland. As a young man living in Africa, Kpomassie happened across a children’s book about Greenland. Fascinated with the distant Arctic island, he embarked on a remarkable ten-year journey across Africa and Europe, working as a translator along the way, and eventually saving enough money to complete his odyssey and live in Greenland.

In the Spring of 2009, Flux Factory and EFA assembled a cross-disciplinary group of artists to respond to Kpomassie’s book, meeting regularly in the form of a book club. Upon completion of the book, the artists were then tasked to create new work inspired by their internalization of Kpomassie’s narrative and the resulting discussions.

Highlights of the exhibition include The Green & Bold Coöperative’s installation and interactive performance: the artists welcome visitors with kaffemik, a common Greenland tradition of hospitality, while continuously hand-scribing a manuscript of the narrative. Another performance is Christopher Ulivo’s theatrical tribute to the story through a shadow puppet theater. The artist has created whimsical scenery and puppet silhouettes for a script that will be acted out by the artists in the show. Live performances will take place at the opening, and a video with a musical score will be on view throughout the show.

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