‘Africa Remix’ at the Hayward

I went to see Africa Remix (an exhibition of contemporary African art) at the Hayward Gallery today.

It was the predictable mix of a few good pieces, a sea of mediocrity and some absolute stinkers. I’m sure that’s been true of most broad surveys of contemporary art at any period in history.

I didn’t take any notes (or shell out twenty quid for the catalogue), so I’m afraid I can’t name names, but here are some comments.

The award for most heavy-handed work is shared between two pieces, both video work. One was called something like ‘crossing the line’ and was a video of someone’s feet, filmed from above and projected on the floor so you’re looking down from about where the camera would be. There was a little ditch carved out of the floor, like a gutter. The feet flirted with crossing the line, but didn’t, to the soundtrack of slightly cracked laughter. The information for the piece explained that it was exploring the idea of madness and ‘crossing a line’. In other words, it’s a clich