Juxtaposing recent site-responsive art installations by artists Mame-Diarra Niang (b.1982, France) and Dineo Seshee Bopape (b.1981, South Africa), this article explores the various geographic, virtual and cultural spaces that the artists simultaneously inhabit in their respective practices. Through interviews with the artists and contextual analysis of their recent projects, one can begin to understand the complex strategies each artist brings to bear to communicate compellingly beyond standard conceptions of past, present and future. Particular attention will be paid to Niang’s Dak’Art 2014 performance Éthéré, which offered a subtle yet trenchant critique of homophobia and related hate crimes in Senegal. Bopape’s aesthetic, meanwhile, exemplified in installations such as but that is not the important part of the story draws on references including slave rebellion and Shembe religious rites. This article will argue that their individual approaches in fact share a number of affinities that can prove revelatory in our understanding of black hauntology, mining the ways in which contemporary African artists alternately negotiate spaces – whether physical, virtual or recorded – and memory.
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