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Xenson’s impresses with his exhibition of everything

On Friday evening, Samson Ssenkaaba alias Xenson held an exhibition at the newly opened visual art exhibition space Afriart @7.
A gallery that defies the common set up of such spaces, it allows artistes to work their ideas without limitations; hung things in space, move walls and put together almost all art disciplines in just one show.
Xenson’s Gun Flower Mask that opened on Friday was the kind of show, in fact, since Daudi Karungi, the gallery in house curator and director opened up the space, it felt like this was the first exhibition that fully exploited it.
A poet, rapper, painter, fashion designer and filmmaker, Xenson almost allowed each part of his personality shine with the exhibition, for instance, at the entrance, photography of models in his designs will strike you, then bags created from car tyre cut aways to one of his designs that are exhibited as an art piece.
But his exhibition starts from out of the gallery where he has an installation made out of backcloth with adorns of tyre made shoes commonly known as Lugabire – a nature conservation activist, Xenson is not new to the world of recycling, before he was obsessed with tyre cut outs, he had in the past experimented with plastic and beer bottle tops.
But for the past few years, his work has skewed towards tyre waste than any other material he has ever used; for instance, his entire fashion showcase last year, Fashion Xpression, was made out of tyre waste and minimal backcloth pieces while his centre piece at the Kampala Art Biennale was too a tyre wrapping on luggage.
According to the exhibition curator Jennifer Mpyisi, the exhibition uses a narrative of invasive questioning to address the layered nature of our lives though also notes that the viewer has the freedom to engage and interpret with the best way they know how.
According to the different artists that attended the opening, this particular exhibition has a number of undertones geared towards migration; “looking at the bags at the start of the showcase, then the wheel barrow and the tyre sandals installation, I believe he’s onto something around movement,” contemplated Henry Mzili.
The poetry that is carefully transcribed on the walls besides a picture or installation is attention grabbing, in one of the writings, he talks about people that will not warn the community of a danger that ends up killing everyone – much as many believed the particular poem talks about people that are selfish, others believe it’s Xenson announcing himself as the danger no one saw coming until it was too late.
Sadly, the artiste himself is in Berlin where he’s having yet another art exhibition, there was no way he could be in Kampala to settle the little debates people were having around his works.
The festival is set to run at the industrial area based gallery until November when the artiste will host a dialogue mostly around the works on display.

About Kaggwa Andrew

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