»We challenge the standard«

Interview mit Serge Attukwei Clottey (Accra/Ghana), Visual Artist und Maler, der sich mit lokalen wie globalen gesellschaftspolitischen Verhältnissen künstlerisch auseineinandersetzt und bei »Afropea Now!« zu »Europe in the eyes of Africa« referieren wird.

Where do you personally see the power of art and do you think that art and culture can be used to bring social or even political change?

I feel strongly that power of art demonstrates how innovation can be used visually to solve problems such as political systems, environmental, region and social change, equal access to education. Through recycling workshops, professional art training, fashion shows and the employment of local residents or art therapy workshops, art supports the development of creative responses by community members to their everyday concerns. Through inspiration, innovation and a sustained vision, the world can nurture their creative capacity for change. It also provides networking opportunities to community members to continue producing interactive art events and programs throughout their lives.

One thing that has been positive to Ghana from globalization is the combining of unique facets of various cultures around the world. The fact of this global movement has greatly altered the contemporary Ghana art scene, making today‘s representations of the awesome continent, its nature and residents, to brand new and illuminating situations. Contemporary Ghanaian artists try to make light of this globalization by integrating them within their older traditions or by trying to replicate their real experience or circumstance within their communities.

You are member and founder of performing art group ‘GoLokal Movement’ in Accra, Ghana. Can you tell us more about it?

I’m a painter and I do sculptures as well. At some point, I just wanted to use my work to interact with the people about how their ideas can change the world through a critically visual approach. So, I decided to do performances to show the process of my work.

I think I first decided to name this group GoLokal because I live in a local community and as an artist I think globally but act locally with such topics as the environment. I invited people to come together and work. As I invited people to become part of what I’m creating, it became a group. We are using the local community to develop a bigger and wider level of creativity.

You not only work in Ghana, at the moment you take part in an Artist-in-Residency program in Austria and you are preparing the multimedia exhibition »Migration Messages«, which will open on the 22nd of september in Vienna. What can we expect?

I live and work in Ghana but also travel around the world for residencies and art programs. I am currently in Austria for three months, now I am preparing for the multimedia exhibition »Migration Messages«, the traces of African’s migrants and its diaspora. In a collective work process with the African community we create a public platform for the perspectives and demands of black people. »Crossing to Europe« is a sculptural wood installation showing at the exhibition. It embarks on the journey to various geographical locations, however following all the traces of African’s migrants and it’s diaspora.

22. September 2014: Eröffnung »Migration Messages«: WUK Projektraum, Währinger Straße 59, 1090 Wien, http://www.wienwoche.org/en/313/migration_message