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1-54 is the first international art fair dedicated to contemporary art from Africa and its diaspora. Founded by Touria El Glaoui, the fair has held annual editions in London since 2013, New York since 2015 and Marrakech since 2018. Drawing reference to the fifty-four countries that constitute the African continent, the fair is a sustainable and dynamic platform that is engaged in contemporary dialogue and exchange. El Glaoui began her career in finance before founding 1-54, and in parallel, she has organised and co-curated exhibitions of the work of her father, the celebrated Moroccan artist Hassan El Glaoui. While governments take steps to enter a new normal and social activity remains uncertain, Touria shares with Something Curated a thought-provoking edit of reading material to discover from home.

Studio, Studio Museum in Harlem

(via Issuu)

Published by the Studio Museum in Harlem, Studio magazine is a dynamic art publication with a focus on contemporary artists of African ancestry. In its second decade, Studio continues to celebrate artists and inform audiences through thought-provoking essays, conversations, and more. El Glaoui tells, “I like catching up with the latest issues of this art publication, focusing on contemporary artists from African descent; I really enjoy the insightful essays and interviews.”

Psychogeometries, Conrad Shawcross

(via Victoria Miro)

El Glaoui says, “This is a book on Conrad Shawcross’ art. I am fascinated by his latest installation at Chateau Lacoste; the book follows his career and is beautifully illustrated with his works, offering great insight into his practice.” The volume charts Shawcross’ evolution, from the extraordinary machines that marked his emergence in the early 2000s to his most recent projects, which extend the possibilities of art in the public realm, examining the geometries and topologies with which he has experimented, and exploring his on-going interest in the tension between the rational and the irrational.

The Forty Rules of Love, Elif Shafak

(via Amazon)

Turkish author Elif Shafak’s novel within a novel, The Forty Rules of Love, tells two parallel stories that mirror each other across two very different cultures and seven intervening centuries. El Glaoui notes, “A great summer read by an inspiring female writer!”

Cuba Mi Amor, Pascale Marthine Tayou

Pascale Marthine Tayou, Cuba Mi Amor (Courtesy the artist and Galleria Continua)

“This beautiful poem by Pascal Marthine Tayou was written to go with the summer exhibition Cuba Mi Amor during Paris Gallerie weekend this year. Cuba Mi Amor was organised by Galleria Continua at Gallerie Mitterand, presenting Cuban and international artists in relation to Cuba,” El Glaoui explains. Cameroonian artist Marthine Tayou’s work traverses various mediums and seeks to redefine postcolonial culture and raise questions about globalisation and modernity.

Sharing further listening recommendations, available on Spotify, El Glaoui continues, “It’s been a pleasure to rediscover these two relevant 1-54 talks as part of our 1-54 Forum in NY and London.”

‘Global Subjectivities Here and Now’, 2015. A discussion with Naima J Keith, Rujeko Hocley and Julie Mehretu moderated by Chika Okeke Agulu.Curated by Koyo Kouoh.

‘The Legacy of the Blk Art Group’, 2014. A discussion between John Akomfrah and Marlene Smith. Curated by Koyo Kouoh.

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All 1-54 Forum talks are now available on Spotify (link in our bio). Listen to archives from 15 editions of 1-54 Forum accompanying 1-54 London (since 2013), 1-54 New York (since 2015) and 1-54 Marrakech (since 2018). ⠀ ⠀ 1-54 Forum, the fair’s programme of talks, panels and performances explores convergences across artistic and cultural production, critical thinking and ideas. Over the years, 1-54 has collaborated with hundreds artists, curators, thinkers, activists and researchers for this programme. ⠀ ⠀ Every week, we’ll be highlighting a few sessions from our archive here: ⠀ ⠀ 1-54 Forum London 2014, curated by Koyo Kouoh | The Legacy of the Blk Art Group:⠀ John Akomfrah (Artist, Writer and Filmmaker) in discussion with Marlene Smith (Artist, Curator and Co-founder of the Blk Art Group Research Project).⠀ ⠀ 1-54 Forum New York 2015, curated by Koyo Kouoh | Opening Remarks and Global Black Subjectivities, Here and Now:⠀ With discussants Naima J. Keith (Associate Curator at @studiomuseum); Rujeko Hockley (Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art at @brooklynmuseum) and artist Julie Mehretu. Moderated by Chika Okeke-Agulu.⠀ ⠀ 1-54 Forum Marrakech 2018, curated by Omar Berrada | Decolonising Knowledge:⠀ With Nana Oforiatta-Ayim (Writer and Art Historian, Accra), Ahmed Skounti (Anthropologist, Marrakech), Grada Kilomba (Artist and Writer, Berlin) and Donna Kukama (Artist, Johannesburg). Moderated by Omar Berrada.⠀ ⠀ 1-54 Forum New York 2019, curated by @blackchalkandco, founded by Nontsikelelo Mutiti and Tinashe Mushakavanhu | In The courtyard: a space for Black art:⠀ With Mario Gooden (Principal @huff_gooden_architects), Mabel Wilson (Associate Professor of Architecture, Columbia’s Graduate School of Architecture Planning and Preservation) and Emanuel Admassu (Founding Partner @ad__wo).⠀ ⠀ > Please note that some speakers have changed positions since they participated in 1-54 Forum.

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Feature image: Conrad Shawcross, Loop system – Major Third 5:4, 4 part Counterpoint, 2006 (via Christie’s)

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