Ghanaian multidisciplinary artist, Sela Adjei has announced Thursday, 25th May 2023, as the official opening date for his most significant solo art exhibition which will take place at the Museum of Science and Technology, Accra.
Sela Adjei’s new work for this exhibition was inspired by his father’s Dr Mawuli Adzei’s forthcoming poetry anthology, also entitled ZADOKELI, and the unfortunate incidents that befell humanity, particularly, Black communities, during the COVID 19 pandemic.
The word “zadokeli” in Ewe, means “eclipse of the sun”. During the global pandemic in 2020, 6 eclipses occurred within the year including 4 lunar eclipses across the world, with one total and one annular solar eclipse in addition.
The first eclipse of 2020 occurred between 10th and 11th January, foreshadowing a dark year ahead. In the Ewe worldview, an eclipse, whether solar or lunar, is of deep spiritual significance.
Thus, in the event of an eclipse, traditional priests, priestesses and diviners seek answers and offer prayers. These holders of esoteric knowledge engage with the divinities to ‘restore’ normal cosmic order through propitiation rites.
Adjei’s role here is as an artist drawing links between the 2020 eclipse and the rise in anti-Black violence and injustice and positions him among the far-seeing priests and diviners who seek answers in an effort to ‘restore’ both cosmic and social order.
Thus, through his new collection of paintings, Sela Adjei visually expands the discussion of analogizing the Black predicament with a recurring image of a gloomy eclipse.
A number of selected paintings (Black Power Series) complemented by Elikplim Akorli’s spoken word poetry will form a virtual component of the exhibition in order to reach a wider global audience.
As a collaborating artist, Elikplim Akorli will also thrill the audience at the opening reception of the exhibition with a spoken word performance.
ZADOKELI is made up of over 60 large scale paintings which have never before been displayed in public and is curated by Edwin Otta and Michael Nii Dodoo Darku.
A book containing critical essays reflecting on the various issues captured in the ZADOKELI collection will be released at the exhibition. The book was edited by G. Edzordzi Agbozo, PhD (University of North Carolina Wilmington, USA) and Niklas Wolf, M.A. (University of Zurich).