DAK’ART 2014

11ème Biennale de l’Art Africain Contemporain 09/05>08/06

Rashid Ali & Andrew Cross


  • Mogadishu, Lost Modern (1 & 2) : 2 videos de 13' chaque, 2013, © (...)
  • Mogadishu, Lost Modern (1 & 2) : 2 videos de 13' chaque, 2013, © (...)
  • Mogadishu, Lost Modern (1 & 2) : 2 videos de 13' chaque, 2013, © (...)
  • Rashid Ali
  • Andrew Cross

Mogadishu, Lost Moderns (1 & 2): 2 videos of 13’ each, 2013, © Rashid Ali & Andrew Cross.
Untitled (Mogadishu): photographies, 51x61 cm, 2013, © Andrew Cross.

Mogadishu: Lost Moderns is a first collaborative project between Somali-British architect Rashid Ali and British visual artist Andrew Cross. First exhibited at The Mosaic Rooms, London in March 2014 their project explores Mogadishu through its architecture and urban environment, narrating the story of Somalia’s journey from traditional African nation to emergent independent state, via colonisation and post-colonialism.
The on-going project features photographs and video produced during Ali & Cross’s visit to Mogadishu during July 2013, as well as historical material architectural model. Selected for Dak’Art 2014 is video shot by Cross at a number of locations throughout the city revealing aspects of the cities urban morphology and street activity. A sequence of six scenes range from a view of the city skyline, to traffic along the busy Jidka Afgooye, to the entrance to Banaadir Hospital.
While in Mogadishu, Ali & Cross had to work within limited and sometimes difficult conditions. However, Cross has been able employ his ‘minimalist’ style of filming; finding situations that allow the camera to linger over extended periods while absorbing much of the city’s idiosyncrasies and textured character. Despite, day-today challenges, what is witnessed is an active city life that suggests the possibilities of a vibrant and positive future.
Challenging familiar mainstream images that depict the city solely as a place of conflict and destruction, Ali & Cross offer a unique account of what remains of the city’s urban fabric and key modernist symbols after two decades of civil conflict. Their project reflects on Mogadishu’s transformation, under Italian authority, from a compact traditional Arab-style city into a cosmopolitan, modern African city at the beginning of the 20th century. Focusing on the spatial developments that took place after independence it documents the architectural symbols and city spaces that were part of wider social, political and economic strategies of articulation of Somalia’s newly claimed statehood.
Due to the destruction of its architecture and any historical archives associated with it, there has been an absence of literature and discourse on the cultural development of Mogadishu through its architecture and built form. Ali & Cross provide a framework to better understand and explore this development.

Rashid Ali was born in Hargeisa, Somalia and studied architecture at the Bartlett School, UCL, and City Design and Social Science at the London School of Economics. He has been widely recognized for his architecture and research output, and has twice been short-listed for the prestigious Young Architect of the Year Award. He has been featured in international publications and his work exhibited at the Architecture Foundation’s London Festival of Architecture, amongst others. Ali is Associate Lecturer at the University of Liverpool School of Arts.

Andrew Cross was born in England and began practising as an artist in 2000 following an established career as an exhibitions curator. Among many of his curatorial projects was Asia City for The Photographers’ Gallery, London in 1998. He is well known for his photographic and moving-image based works on structure and place, the histories they may conceal and the memories they may evoke. His first book of photographs Some Trains in America was published in 2002. His first moving image work was short-listed for the 2004 Beck’s Futures Prize and subsequent works have been exhibited widely and met with critical acclaim. Also in 2004, 3 hours from here: An English Journey – a film about post-industrial landscape and economy - was commissioned by Film & Video Umbrella and the John Hansard Gallery Southampton. More recently Cross has collaborated with 1970s rock musicians. The Solo – featuring the music of Carl Palmer was first exhibited at Ikon, Birmingham in 2010 and featured at the 2012 PuSh Festival, Vancouver. Cross is Associate Lecturer in Photography and Southampton Solent University and has been a visiting tutor in architecture at a number of UK universities.

puce See on line : http://raprojects.info/news et http://andrewcross.co.uk/