Snap Judgments

Over at the New York Times, Holland Cotter reviews “Snap Judgments: New Positions in Contemporary African Photography,” which is currently showing at the International Center of Photography. Of the curator, the Nigerian Okwui Enwezor, Cotter writes:

If Martians tuned in to our television news broadcasts, they’d have a miserable impression of life on Earth. War, disease, poverty, heartbreak and nothing else. That’s exactly how most of the world sees Africa: filtered through images of calamity. “Afro-pessimism” is the diagnostic term that Okwui Enwezor, the Nigerian-born art historian and curator, uses for the syndrome. And he has offered bracing antidotes to it in two major photography exhibitions.

The first, “In/Sight: African Photographers, 1940 to the Present,” appeared at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in 1996. It was fantastic, a revelation. Now, a decade later, the second one has arrived, “Snap Judgments: New Positions in Contemporary African Photography” at the International Center of Photography. It, too, is fantastic — stimulating, astringent, brimming with life — and different from its predecessor.

You can read the rest of the rave review here.

The online gallery for “Snap Judgments” is worth a visit. I was happy to see a strong showing by Moroccan artists in this exhibit, with artwork by Yto Berrada, Ali Chraibi, and Lamia Naji.


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