Edited by Ibrahim Mahama and Eva Brioschi
Texts by Bernard Akoi-Jackson and Ibrahim Mahama; Eva Brioschi; karî’kachä seid’ou and Selom Kudjie
Design: Studio Temp
Softcover, 272 pages, 21 x 28.5 cm
English / Italian
Ibrahim Mahama was born in 1987 in Tamale, a city in northern Ghana where he lives and works. He studied painting and sculpture at Kwame Nkurumah University in Kumasi, Ghana, earning a master’s degree in painting and sculpture in 2013. During his university years, he began working on installations reflecting on the theme of globalization, labor, and the movement of goods, with works made in collaboration with local communities. In 2019, Mahama opened the Savannah Centre for Contemporary Art (SCCA), a foundation run by a group of artists and curators active in Ghana, which was followed by the establishment of Redclay in the suburbs of Tamale. This large facility incorporates artist studios (including his own), research spaces, an artist residency, a permanent collection of artworks, workshop rooms (some set up inside old decommissioned airplanes), and large plots of land dedicated to various types of cultivation. All of this contributes to this visionary artist’s desire to take an active part in the economic, social, and cultural development of his country, providing powerful incentives and teachings to new generations, to make the local population as participatory and economically self-sufficient as possible.
This volume, published to accompany Mahama’s inaugural exhibition at Eataly Art House, in Verona, is constructed as visual diary of artist’s impressive work in his native Tamale, a community-based project founded on the understanding of art as totalizing, reparatory experience: a catalyzer of energies directed for change and social progress. It features texts by the curator Eva Brioschi, Mahama’s professor and mentor karî’kachä seid’ou with Selom Kudjie, and Mahama himself with Bernard Akoi-Jackson.
Voli-ni, which literally means “inside the hole,” is composed of individual particles with their own meaning: Vo, “to pull out,” “extract”; li, “to transfer,” “teleport”; and ni, “here and now.”
Voli-ni therefore indicates an emersion from darkness, from a failed past of defeat, towards the possibility of redemption, regeneration, through a portal that is real (recovered architecture) or imaginary (art).