1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair Opens in New York -ARTnews


Ralph Ziman by SPOEK 1 at the 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair.

KATHERINE MCMAHON

Outside the 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair in New York—the fourth edition of which opened today at Pioneer Works in Brooklyn—is a disquieting military artifact bedazzled with some 70 million brilliantly colored beads. Beneath them all is a Casspir “mine protected vehicle” of a kind that was prevalent in apartheid-era South Africa, where, during the late 1970s and early ’80s, the streets were prowled by armored vehicles that were widely despised and feared.

“These were notorious in the townships as weapons of mass oppression,” said Ralph Ziman, the South African artist who transformed the Casspir into a more stirring sight for the sake of an artwork titled SPOEK 1. With a large gun up…

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