The exhibition Authentic/Ex-Centric: Africa In and Out of Africa, features the work of seven prominent contemporary African and African Diaspora artists: Willem Boshoff (South Africa), Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons (Cuba/USA), Godfried Donkor (Ghana/UK), Rachid Koraїchi (Algeria/France), Berni Searle (South Africa), Zineb Sedira (Algeria/UK), Yinka Shonibare (Nigeria/UK). All are accomplished artists working within the conceptual mode in painting, sculpture, photography, video and multi-media installations. All live and work between the continent and Western centers of artistic production, and their works speak directly to issues of representation, memory, Diaspora, expatriation and other aspects of the African experience.
The word Authentic, in the title, references the responses of some of these artists to the problematics of representation as well as paradigms of discourse that objectify African and other cultures. It plays on cultural determinism and the demand for 'authenticity' and the exotic that continues to frame the acknowledgement and reception of African contemporaneity outside the continent. Several of the works in the exhibition problematize such notions of originality and authenticity, and speak back to them. Ex-centric addresses other realities of cultural politics as they affect African artists within and outside Africa. It also points to issues of cross-cultural and trans-national aesthetics and consciousness within contemporary African art practice especially since the exhibition reflects the reciprocal traffic of ideas and influences between Africa and other parts of the world, and offers a glimpse of the ways in which African artists have interpreted and translated the aesthetic and social experiences of both historical and postcolonial Africa as part of a global sensibility.