Ghana’s Buzzed-About Venice Biennale Pavilion Is a Clear First Step in the Country’s Bid to Become a Global Art Destination

The knockout pavilion, which includes work by John Akomfrah and Ibrahim Mahama, appears to be part of a bigger plan.

El Anatsui. The Ghana Pavilion, curated by Nana Oforiatta Ayim and designed by David Adjaye, at the 58th Biennale di Venezia. Venice Biennale. Venice, Italy. Photograph by David Levene 6/5/19

Throughout the Arsenale, the medieval dockyard complex that houses a number of national pavilions for the Venice Biennale, a common refrain can be heard echoing through the corridors: Which way to the Ghana Pavilion?

The West African country has made a splashy debut in the international art exhibition, which opened for previews yesterday. Its pavilion—a series of curved, interlocking chambers designed by architect David Adjaye—houses an all-star lineup, including new works by sculptor El Anatsui, video artist John Akomfrah, and painter Lynette Yiadom-Boakye. Nearly all of the art was commissioned especially for the occasion. Continue reading…

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