he marketplace as a confluence point, as a converging pivot around which some elements & essences of a society come together in a concordant and harmonic flux of the exchange of things, is a reality as ancient & possibly timeless as life itself. One of the conditions which allows & precipitates it’s existence as a localised external form, is the ideation of exchange. Exchange is the cardinal point, the principal motivic pulse which propels into reality a marketplace’s temporal, moveable or permanent but evolving form.
Human beings, for as long as life as existed, have been exchanging things for one reason or another, thus the concept/idea of a centralised exchange portal [Market] was/is an inevitable evolutionary process in the historicity, economic and social developmental timeline of human societies. The marketplace is an ubiquitous reality/phenomena common to human existence.
The concept of a marketplace in the context of an African rural or urban setting has not only a metaphysical, political, economic, social significance, in which ever way it is perceived or thought of, it occupies one of the most significant positions within the hierarchal, horizontal, vertical, pyramidal or linear structuring of any given African society. It is the confluence point, the intersecting interface between a human individual who is the nucleus of society and his/her society. It defines the entire pulse, the breath, the depths of any given urban centre where human beings converge or congregate for the purpose & function of exchanging things.
The market place has a consciousness of it’s own, evolved over time by every single individual that forms the matrix of its nature, whether as a transient or semi permanent participant, in the past, present or the future that is to be.
Here the polarity of the world’s ideological positions are enacted live and battled out in the banter, bustling, hustling, trading & exchanges of physical and mental goods.
In this series of visual art titled; “African Market”,
We seek to explore in a visual discourse via symbolic representations of shapes, forms, structures the evolving nature of the various orders & systems that emerge from the consciousness of a market place.
Artist Statement 2013 © Tanka Fonta