BAHM | 2.24.18 | Simon Njami
Simon Njami is a Cameroonian, Lausanne-born, Paris-based independent curator, author, lecturer, and art critic. In 1991, he co-founded the formative Revue Noire, a magazine and publishing house of work related to contemporary African art. He has published several novels, including "Cercueil et Cie" in 1985 and "African Gigolo" in 1989, along with biographies on James Baldwin and Léopold Sédar Senghor.
From 2001 to 2007 Njami was the Artistic Director of Bamako Encounters photography biennial, and served as Curator of the '01 and '09 editions. In 2004, he organized Africa Remix for Museum Kunst Palast, Düsseldorf, the largest exhibition of contemporary African art in Europe, which travelled to major museums in London, Paris, Tokyo, Stockholm, and Johannesburg, over the course of three years.
Njami was co-curator, along with Angolese artist Fernando Alvim, of the fist African Pavilion at the 52nd Venice Biennale in 2007. He also curated the first African Art Fair in Johannesburg in 2008. In 2014, he curated The Divine Comedy – Heaven, Hell, Purgatory by Contemporary African Artists for the Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt, which traveled to the SCAD Museum of Art in Savannah, G.A., and the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art in D.C.. The exhibition featured the work of 50 artists from 20 different countries, many of whom were widely unknown, and site-specific pieces. He also served as the Artistic Director of the 12th and 13th Dak'Art Biennale in 2016 and 2017.