How High The Moon

7 September - 21 October 2023

Africa seeks a new future expressed through the digital medium

Curated by Jessica Deutsch

How High the Moon, explores the emergence of a new form and discourse in African Art. The works in the exhibition embrace realism, surrealism, futurism, fantasy and animation realized in a three-dimensional digital format made possible by technology.

The ability to market their own art through technology allows artists creative freedom. A new age and rapid interchange of ideas through global connectivity makes their work accessible to fresh eyes that are open to embrace alternate value systems and beliefs. What seemed impossible forty five years ago in Paris, when an exhibition “Magiciens de la Terre” made the assertion that Africa’s spiritual universe was as valid as the West’s belief in a man-centered world, is readily accepted today. The art in the exhibition expresses Africa’s spirituality and a longing to return to Pre-Colonial times. Before the advent of Europeans, African society was guided by a belief in benevolent, ever-present ancestral spirits and the calling for continuous self-renewal as a conduit to an invisible world.

The title of the exhibition comes from Bushman folklore. The Bushmen were the earliest tribe in South Africa, and believed in the interconnectivity of all things animate and inanimate. Man, the sun, the moon, the cosmos, and every living creature were connected and spoke the same language. This was a harmonious universe in which man acted for the good of his tribe.

The title also comes from an American song from 1947, sung by Ella Fitzgerald, expressing a yearning for cultural validity.

The artists in this exhibition, drawn from various cultures across Africa and the Diaspora, universally explore futuristic landscapes in which they will be able to rediscover the values intrinsic to their society. They dream of finding that which constitutes home, where they can connect with the spirits of old and commune with the cosmos. Animals and beasts with magical powers are restored to their righteous place in this landscape. Women are goddesses, in tune with their femininity, reveling in their beauty and independence. Mythical African gods are carved in marble, linking them to the Western practice of venerating and immortalizing their deities in stone. Balloons symbolize the hope of finding meaning in the inexplicable and discovering true purpose in life.

Artists: Lethabo Huma, Anthony Azekwoh, Justin Dingwall, Osinachi, Delphine Diallo, Nearbound, Fanuel Leul, Lana Denina, Young Kev, Vintagemozart, Adesola Yusuf, Kelechi Nwaneri, Terence Ntsako Maluleke, Nygilia Km.

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