Titled ‘Ghana Freedom’, after the song composed by E.T. Mensah on the eve of the birth of the new nation in 1957, the pavilion curated by Nana Oforiatta Ayim examines the legacies and trajectories of that freedom by six artists, across three generations, rooted both in Ghana and its Diasporas: through archives of objects in large-scale installations by El Anatsui and Ibrahim Mahama; representation and portraiture, both in the studio work of Ghana's first known female photographer Felicia Abban and imagined by painter Lynette Yiadom-Boakye; and the relativities of loss and restitution in a 3-channel film by John Akomfrah and in a film sculpture by Selasi Awusi Sosu. The elliptically-shaped design of the pavilion by Sir David Adjaye explores the intersection of ideas linking the works.
The Ghana Pavilion will be accompanied by a publication with a preface by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo; foreword by the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Honorable Catherine Afeku; and contributions by Sir David Adjaye, Kwame Anthony Appiah, Nana Oforiatta Ayim, Okwui Enwezor, Taiye Selasi, Hakeem Adam, Adjoa Armah, Mae-ling Lokko, Kuukuwa Manful, Larry Ossei-Mensah, and Mavis Tetteh-Ocloo.
There will be a series of critical platforms and interventions in Ghana throughout the Biennale.
‘Ghana Freedom’ will travel from Venice to Accra after the Biennale.