Curving galleries plastered with earth characterise Ghana Freedom, the country’s national pavilion at the 58th Venice Art Biennale, developed by architect David Adjaye.

Now open in the Venetian Arsenal, Ghana Freedom marks the initially time that the nation has presented at the prestigious art occasion.

Modelled on traditional Gurunsi earth homes, the Ghana pavilion comprises a series of interconnected oval-shaped galleries topped by a wooden roof. It contains artwork that celebrate the country’s heritage and culture.

Ghana Freedom is the country’s initially pavilion at the Venice Art Biennale

“Becoming in a position to show the diversity and creativity of Ghana on an international scale is an amazing achievement, and 1 which showcases the talent that we have to present,” explained Adjaye.

“The commitment and inspiration shown by the president in commissioning this pavilion is a testament to what our nation has to present the art neighborhood.”

Ghana Freedom by David Adjaye at Venice Art Biennale
It exhibits the function of six artists which includes Lynette Yiadom-Boakye

The narrative and name for the pavilion originates from the song Ghana Freedom, which was written by E T Mensah in 1957 ahead of the country’s independence from the UK.

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Curated by film maker Nana Oforiatta Ayim, the exhibits “examine the legacies and trajectories” of this time.

Ghana Freedom by David Adjaye at Venice Art Biennale
1 of the oval-shaped galleries has a film projection by John Akomfrah

Guests can count on to see significant-scale installations by El Anatsui and Ibrahim Mahama, alongside portraits by Felicia Abban and Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, a film by John Akomfrah and a video sculpture by Selasi Awusi Sosu.

The artwork adorns the walls of the galleries to evoke the intricate mud and chalk paintings identified in the Gurunsi dwellings.

Ghana Freedom by David Adjaye at Venice Art Biennale
El Anatsui’s artwork evokes intricate mud paintings found in Gurunsi dwellings

“It implies a lot for us to have our initially national pavilion at such a narrative-creating occasion as the Venice Biennale, specially at this moment,” explained Ayim.

“The conversation about nations is broadening in the face of challenges of migrations of us redefining our connections to our all through our ‘year of return’ of discussing what it may possibly imply to have our cultural objects returned, and how we therefore may possibly redefine ourselves in the planet and of lastly moving out of the ‘postcolonial’ moment into 1 we have however to envision.”

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Ghana Freedom by David Adjaye at Venice Art Biennale
Substantial-scale installations by Ibrahim Mahama also function in the pavilion

David Adjaye is a British-Ghanaian architect and founder of Adjaye Associates, which has studios in each London and New York.

Alongside the Ghana Pavilion, the practice has not too long ago completed the pink Ruby City art centre in Texas, and the African American Museum in Washington DC, which featured in his Generating Memory exhibition at London’s Style Museum.

Photography is by David Levene.


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