“Transafricana”: like a great sleeping pachyderm, Africa awakens from an ancestral sleep and bursts with great strength and energy into the history of international contemporary art, re-evaluating the magic of life and the sacredness of art. Achille Bonito Oliva has chosen the 6 artists from the most ancient continent, Africa, each of them works within a cultural awareness, strongly anchored to his roots and uses a language made up of signs that the artist himself knows very well and therefore it does not try to tame it, if anything, to support it according to procedures that imply the idea of design and choice. African art, before contemporary Western art, freed itself from content servitude and always seeks the movement of form capable of transfiguring every theme and bringing every impulse and impulse to the threshold of language. Language becomes the filter through which signs, symbols and meanings pass which are vivified and at the same time reworked in the passage of form.
Even if the term “Transafricana” recalls the “Transavanguardia”, it actually arises from the historic railway line that cuts Africa longitudinally and latitudinally and from the desire to offer an art “of crossing”, just as the trans-African line puts in communication between heterogeneous populations. The African artists presented, all of international caliber, are Esther Mahlangu (South Africa), George Lilanga (Tanzania), Seni Camara (Senegal), Mikidadi Bush (Tanzania), Kivuthi Mbuno (Kenya), Peter Wanjau (Kenya), each of they live and work in their country of origin. If at the end of the 70s of the last century the Transavanguardia proposed models of overcoming the sterility of the neo-avant-garde by now consumed on hyper-conceptual themes, at the beginning of these years the artists of Transafricana proposed alternative models, of recovery of the feeling of reality, of life, rejecting the race towards aesthetic globalization that now pervades all Western art.