Time, Trade & Travel

Bernard Akoi-Jackson, Dorothy Akpene Amenuke, Serge Clottey, Zachary Formwalt, Iris Kensmil, Aukje Koks, Navid Nuur, Jeremiah Quarshie, kari-kacha seid’ou and Katarina Zdjelar.

smba-newsletter-129.pdf (936 Kb)

25 August - 21 October 2012

In collaboration with the Nubuke Foundation in Accra, Ghana.

Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam presents the exhibition Time, Trade & Travel. This exhibition is the result of a collaboration with the Nubuke Foundation in Accra, Ghana, to which the show will travel in November. Time, Trade & Travel is a collective venture exploring the histories shared by Ghana and the Netherlands, over various centuries, diverse economic systems and geopolitical divisions in the world. The show explicitly relates to aspects of globalization and transnationalism reflected in the field of contemporary art.

Grouping the works under the sweeping exhibition title ‘Time, Trade & Travel’ is a curatorial decision that points to the collaboration’s extended focus on the complexities of global exchange fostered by capitalism, and its effects on life and art. Time, Trade & Travel set the participating artists on a quest for the historical encounters between Europeans and Africans, in which trade and the concomitant cultural exchange receive particular attention. From their manifold and individual perspectives the artists examined the ways in which the economic and cultural relations of the past are continuing to have an effect in the present. The exhibition functions as a platform for the presentation of these artistic inquiries into pre-colonial trade, colonial legacies and the tracing the continuing imperialistic conditions that characterize contemporary processes of globalization. As a starting point the exhibition can in part draw on the age-old trading relations between what is present-day Ghana and the Netherlands, a relation that was officially affirmed through the cities of Amsterdam and Accra in a mutual ‘agreement on cooperation’ in 2004.

Click here for images of the exhibition.

In preparation for the exhibition, most of the artists participating in Time, Trade & Travel made a visit to their sister cities. The exchange gave them the opportunity to get an impression of each other’s practices, the working circumstances and respective art infrastructures, as well as their cultural, economic, social and historical contexts. It also gave all contributors the opportunity to learn from the very process of such an exchange and the discussions that come with it, as well as from the obstacles that needed to be overcome. The exhibition is a way of presenting some thoughts and observations resulting from the research, to audiences both in the Netherlands and Ghana. Time, Trade & Travel will be seen in the Nubuke Foundation in Accra from 25 November, 2012, until 3 February, 2013.

In Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam, Time, Trade & Travel is accompanied by an extensive SMBA Newsletter (English/Dutch) which is available at the exhibition and also published online. Besides a curatorial introduction and entries on the works of the participating artists, it includes a contribution on the work and teaching of art tutor kari-kacha seid’ou of the College of Art in Kumasi, by anthropologist Dr. Rhoda Woets, who did extensive research into modern art in Ghana.


Jelle Bouwhuis and Kerstin Winking (Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam)

Kofi Setordji and Odile Tevie (Nubuke Foundation)

Time, Trade & Travel has been made possible in part by contributions from the Mondrian Fund, the Amsterdam Fund for the Arts, HIVOS and SNS REAAL Fund

The exhibition is part of Project ‘1975’ of Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam.

For more information about the two organizing institutions: