Prominently situated in the Artiglierie of the historic Arsenale, the Ghanaian pavilion started as an idea by Sir David Adjaye and Nana Oforiatta Ayim. Their combined knowledge and tireless work resulted in Ghana joining the world stage as a cultural force with six of its leading artists from the Mid 20th Century up to the present day. Exploring the historical and cultural intersection of ideas linking the works of the six artists, Sir David Adjaye has designed an architecture that will showcase newly commissioned works and one historical body of work. Each artist will exhibit in an elliptically-shaped space which draws inspiration from the traditional earth houses built in the village of Sirigu in the Upper East Region of Ghana. The exhibition walls will be plastered with locally-sourced earth from the area, giving a sense of place and coherence as visitors move through the gallery spaces whilst offering a reflection of life in Ghana over the past Century.
Entitled Ghana Freedom, after the song composed by E.T. Mensah on the eve of the independence of the new nation in 1957, the pavilion examines the legacies and trajectories of that freedom through the work of six artists from three generations. Rooted both in Ghanaian culture and its diasporas, the pavilion exhibition will include large-scale installations by El Anatsui and Ibrahim Mahama; representation and portraiture by prominent photographer Felicia Abban and painter Lynette Yiadom-Boakye; and a three-channel film projection by John Akomfrah and a video sculpture by Selasi Awusi Sosu.
Featured artists: Felicia Abban, John Akomfrah, El Anatsui, Ibrahim Mahama, Selasi Awusi Sosu, Lynette Yiadom-Boakye